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The Maryland Public Service Commission on Thursday approved vital credits for two major offshore wind energy projects that together are expected to produce nearly 370 megawatts of power, according to a statement from the commission.

The Maryland Public Service Commission announced Thursday that it awarded renewable energy credits for two projects off Maryland's Eastern Shore near Ocean City.

The PSC's decision is contingent on approval by the federal government of the developers' site assessment plans, as well as construction and operations plans. The companies will be required to use port facilities in the greater Baltimore region and Ocean City for construction and operations and maintenance activities.

Wind turbines off the Maryland coast just got a boost.

"Rhode Island has positioned itself as a leader in offshore wind with the Block Island Wind Farm - the first of its kind in the United States", notes Langevin, who serves as energy task force chair on the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition in the House of Representatives.

Kevin Hughes said the approval "brings to fruition the General Assembly's efforts to establish Maryland as a regional hub for this burgeoning industry".

US Wind's proposal is to build 62 turbines between 12 and 15 nautical miles offshore to generate 248 megawatts.

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Conditions to the OREC approval include a requirement that these companies invest at least $76 million in Maryland steel-making and a further $39.6 million in upgraded infrastructure at the Tradepoint Atlantic shipyard.

"US Wind is going to put a lot of skilled ironworkers to work in Maryland and we'll have them trained and ready to perform", said Will Beckman, Ironworkers Local 16.

"We successfully completed Gemini ahead of schedule, under budget and with an excellent safety record", said Matthais Haag, Managing Director of the Gemini Offshore Wind Park, in a press release. "Offshore wind is coming to the Atlantic Coast, and we want to be part of this exciting new industry".

The offshore wind projects represent a combined capacity of 368 MW and could yield $1.8 billion in in-state spending, according to a press release, while bringing almost 9,700 indirect and direct jobs.

The construction of the Gemini Offshore Wind Park costs approximately $3 billion.

"As we review the details of the commission's order, we thank the Public Service Commission for the trust that they have placed in Deepwater Wind", CEO Jeff Grybowski said in a statement.