BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- It won't be long before offshore wind is powering homes in Maryland, but with so few examples of completed wind farms in the United States, it's hard to fully imagine what a completed project will look like.
That's why Ørsted, a Danish power company, and the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies in Linthicum Heights teamed up to create the Mid-Atlantic's first offshore wind farm simulator, bringing these massive projects to life.
"This is a brand-new industry here in the United States, said Brady Walker, Ørsted's Head of Government Relations for Maryland and Delaware, "There is not a commercial-scale wind farm in operation here right now. "
That will soon change, as companies like Ørsted continue to develop projects in our own backyard. Skipjack Wind, off the coast of Delaware and Maryland, will generate enough clean renewable energy to power about 300,000 homes and businesses on the Delmarva peninsula.
"For Maryland's first offshore wind farm - a really impactful commercial utility-scale offshore wind farm," Walker said.
Skipjack is projected to be completed by 2026. Without seeing a completed project in person, it's hard to envision the scale of a commercial wind farm, which is why the offshore wind farm simulator is so important.
"The purpose of this wind farm (simulator) is to be able to bring people in, to be able to make this experience accessible and to make ourselves accessible to answer questions," Walker said.
It also allows ship captains the opportunity to practice navigating their vessel through a wind farm in any condition.
Walker says, "It's hard to imagine sometimes what it's like to work or navigate through one of these wind farms without traveling to Europe or other places."
With offshore wind being all but guaranteed part of America's energy future, it's something we should all get used to.
"Offshore wind in the US has the capacity to power millions and millions of homes," said Walker, "There will be offshore shore wind farms planned up and down the east coast and when they all do come online they will be a really significant and reliable part of the energy grid."
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