Deepwater Wind Ramps Up Skipjack Wind Farm Development With New Local Hires, Cutting-Edge Environmental Surveys
Deepwater Wind Names Local Project Leads, Environmental Research Team; Annapolis Project Office Opening Soon
Ocean City, Md. – January 24, 2021 – Deepwater Wind is accelerating development of the Skipjack Wind Farm with key local hires and a suite of cutting-edge environmental surveys that will guide the construction of the 120-megawatt offshore wind farm serving Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Deepwater Wind has named Joy Weber, of Annapolis, as Skipjack Wind Farm’s Development Manager. Weber will lead the project’s local development efforts, including building relationships with Maryland communities and companies.
Weber brings extensive experience in energy policy, advocacy and community affairs to Deepwater Wind. Most recently, she worked as a lawyer for the Maryland firm Rifkin, Weiner, Livingston LLC, where she represented renewable energy firms, public utilities and others in the energy industry. In that role, she advocated at the Maryland General Assembly for the ultimate passage of state legislation encouraging the development of offshore wind. She also served on the legislative policy committee for the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and the board of the Maryland Government Relations Association. Weber earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and studio art from Pennsylvania State University and a law degree from Regent University.
Deepwater Wind has also hired Whitney Fiore, of St. Michaels, to serve as Manager of Permitting and Environmental Affairs. She will lead the federal, state and local permitting of the Skipjack Wind Farm. In addition, Fiore will manage the project’s extensive science and data collection program.
Fiore has worked for more than 20 years in the field of natural resources, environmental permitting and regulatory compliance. Her prior roles included consulting work for the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation on offshore wind development and environmental restoration projects. Fiore earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in natural resource management and public policy from Central Washington University.
Weber and Fiore are the first of several local hires planned for Deepwater Wind’s Maryland team. In the coming months, Deepwater Wind will open its Maryland development office in Annapolis, where the local team will be based.
“We’ve put together a first-rate team, led by Joy and Whitney, to put our plans for the Skipjack Wind Farm into high gear,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski. “Their expertise will help us launch Maryland’s offshore wind industry and bring affordable, clean energy to the Eastern Shore.”
Deepwater Wind has also assembled a local team of biologists, engineers, marine archaeologists and other researchers, led by Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.’s Laurel, Md., office, to conduct the comprehensive marine and environmental assessments to support the project’s state and federal permitting.
The Maryland-based environmental firms supporting this effort are:
Chesapeake Environmental Management, of Bel Air, will support state and local permitting efforts for the Skipjack Wind Farm, as well as coastal habitat surveys.
Coastal Resources Inc., of Annapolis, will also support state and local permitting development, as well as provide benthic taxonomy, a study of organisms that live near the sea floor.
AKRF, of Hanover, will conduct air quality and acoustic studies.
R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, of Frederick, will provide marine archaeological and cultural support.
Deepwater Wind is also in the process of assembling a team to collect geophysical, geotechnical, archaeological and benthic (sea floor) data this summer to guide the development of the Skipjack Wind Farm.
Deepwater Wind expects to submit its permit applications in 2019.
Deepwater Wind is working to ensure that the Skipjack Wind Farm will be a project that all Marylanders can be proud of. Located over 19.5 miles to the northeast of Ocean City, the project will be “over the horizon,” far enough away that it won’t have a significant impact on beach views from Maryland or Delaware.
The Skipjack Wind Farm will deliver significant benefits for Marylanders. At 120 megawatts (MW), the Skipjack Wind Farm will be developed cost-effectively to help Maryland meet its clean-energy goals in an affordable way.
Once operational, Skipjack will deliver enough cost-effective, renewable energy to power 35,000 Maryland homes, improving air quality and alleviating transmission congestion costs.
Deepwater Wind plans to invest approximately $200 million in Maryland during Skipjack’s construction phase, including $25 million for a new steel fabrication facility and $13 million for ports in the Greater Baltimore area.
Deepwater Wind also plans to establish the project’s permanent Operations and Maintenance facility in the greater Ocean City area, creating jobs over the project’s full 25-year life.
In May 2017, the Maryland Public Service Commission designated the Skipjack Wind Farm a “Qualified Offshore Wind Project.”
Deepwater Wind is America’s leading offshore wind developer and the only company to fully build and operate an offshore wind farm in the United States. The company’s 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm is America’s first offshore wind farm.
Deepwater Wind is in the execution stage for its South Fork Wind Farm, a 15-turbine offshore wind farm serving Long Island, N.Y., that’s targeted to be in-service by the end of 2022. The company is also developing Revolution Wind, a planned offshore wind and battery storage project proposed for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.