Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley vetoed a bill that would have postponed a $200 million wind farm being developed on the state’s eastern shore.
House Bill 1168 would have delayed the 150-MW Great Bay Wind Energy Center by 13-months. The bill, which passed the Maryland General Assembly in April, sought to delay the project because of its proximity to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, according to Think Progress. The assembly argued that the turbines could compromise the naval systems.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) stated that the radar systems were not at risk as long as the turbines stop spinning while in use. The DOD previously signed an agreement with Pioneer Green Energy to shut down the turbines during system testing.
O’Malley argued that stalling the project would harm Maryland’s economy by sending the wrong message to clean energy companies looking to invest in the state, the article said.
“The developers of the Great Bay Wind project have engaged in years of painstaking negotiations, played by the rules, and invested millions of dollars in good faith reliance on the policies established by our federal and State legislative bodies,” O’Malley said. “If this moratorium were to take effect, it would send a chilling message to clean energy investors … that the State can change the rules at the eleventh hour.”
The bill’s postponement was to allow time for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to complete a $2 million study to evaluate the turbines’ impact on the radar systems.
O’Malley previously mandated that the state must use 20 percent renewable energy by 2022.