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US Wind announces partnership with Sea Risk Solutions


US Wind this week announced a new partnership with Sea Risk Solutions to aid in the company’s engagement efforts with fishermen in Maryland and the greater Delmarva region. Wolfgang Rain and Ron Larsen at Sea Risk will be US Wind’s fisheries liaisons for the commercial and recreational sectors and the partnership will ensure ongoing, consistent dialogue with fishermen as development activities ramp up. Efforts will focus on the dissemination of information related to project milestones and survey activity, promotion of collaborative business opportunities, and coordination of regular opportunities to gather and respond to questions and concerns from the community.

“US Wind is committed to early, often and continuous dialogue and information sharing with the fishermen in our region,” said Nancy Sopko, Director of External Affairs for US Wind. “Getting Sea Risk Solutions onboard, particularly Wolfgang and Ron with their vast experience and connections in the fishing community, is a huge step forward in these engagement efforts.”

Sea Risk Solutions is a US-based small business with global and regional experience in facilitating coexistence between offshore infrastructure developers and fishing communities. The fisheries roots of Sea Risk’s staff are firmly planted in US East and West coast fisheries, with experience working with the fishermen and fisheries that operate in and around the US Wind lease area.

“We are excited to support US Wind in developing this critical offshore renewable energy project by acting as their fisheries liaisons” said Wolfgang Rain of Sea Risk Solutions. “By working closely with local and regional fishermen, we can facilitate an exchange of information to help inform the wind farm development activities. We look forward to engaging with the area’s fishermen and establishing a foundation for the long-term, cooperative relationship US Wind desires with its offshore neighbors.”

Wolfgang Rain joins the US Wind team as lead Fisheries Liaison, with over 23 years of experience as a commercial fisherman and fisheries biologist. Rain has additional years of expertise in subsea cable permitting and regulatory issues, offshore wind development in the UK and Atlantic USA, liaison with maritime authorities, shipping interests, government agencies and fishermen in more than 20 countries.

Ron Larsen joins the US Wind fisheries liaison team with over 30 years of fisheries and subsea infrastructure planning experience. Larsen spent 10 years in the 1990s working in the East Coast fisheries observer program, first as a fisheries observer and then as the regional operations coordinator. In that role, Larsen had the opportunity to observe several local fisheries and work with local commercial fishermen, including many from Ocean City, MD, who are still active today. Ron returned to the Northeast fisheries scene in 2019 when he joined Sea Risk Solutions, bringing his fisheries and subsea infrastructure planning experience to help inform offshore wind developers and the fishing communities about their respective activities and facilitate coexistence.

US Wind acquired an 80,000-acre federal lease area off of the coast of Maryland in 2014. In 2017, the company was awarded Offshore Renewable Energy Credits (ORECs) from the State of Maryland for the first phase of its MarWin project. In total, the company’s lease area can support approximately 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy capacity. In 2019, Maryland passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which increased the state’s offshore wind energy requirements, calling for an additional 1.2 GW to be procured from developers with projects near the state’s coast.

Maryland project

With an investment of approximately $1.5 billion, the Maryland project is among the largest offshore wind farm projects in the United States.
The project will leverage US Wind’s extensive international experience to create a local sustainable footprint in Maryland’s economic base.

Plans call for installing 32 turbines in 20-30 meters of water, 17 miles offshore. A substation will collect the energy from the turbines and transmit the electricity to the shore using underwater cables.

The Maryland project is expected to produce approximately 270 MW of power, which will help meet Maryland’s off-shore wind renewable energy goals. This is enough power for more than +/- 76,000 Maryland homes.

The project is anticipated to come online in early 2023, with an operational life expectancy of more than 25 years. Over its lifetime the project will support hundreds of highly skilled jobs in engineering, construction and operation.

KeyFacts Energy: US Wind USA country profile

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