Maryland regulators have approved plans for the nation's first large-scale offshore wind projects.
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 says the decision allows U.S. Wind and Skipjack Offshore Energy to build 368 megawatts of capacity. That would be greater than the nation's sole wind farm, a five-turbine, 30-megawatt facility off Rhode Island.
The commission also says the projects are expected to create almost 9,700 new direct and indirect jobs and contribute $74 million in state tax revenues over 20 years.
Commission chairman W. Kevin Hughes says the decision brings to fruition the General Assembly's efforts to establish Maryland as a regional hub for the developing offshore wind industry.