The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on July 2 announced that nearly 80,000 acres off the Maryland coast will be offered for commercial wind energy development in an August 19 competitive lease sale. The Maryland Wind Energy Area, which will be auctioned as two leases, is located about 10 nautical miles off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland. Sixteen companies have qualified to participate in the auction.

According to analysis prepared by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, if fully developed, the Maryland Wind Energy Area could support between 850 and 1450 megawatts of commercial wind generation, enough electricity to power 300,000 homes. For more information, see the DOI news release, the Energy Department's Offshore Wind Research and Development webpage, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management website.