US Wind taps JDR Cables for Maryland offshore project

US Wind Inc., the Baltimore-based offshore developer owned by Italy’s Toto Holdings, has named British cabling specialist JDR Cable Systems the preferred supplier for the 750MW project it hopes to build off the coast of Maryland.

US Wind owns the rights to develop offshore wind farms in two adjacent zones off the coast of Maryland it won in a federal lease auction in 2013. The developer says the zones could hold up to 750MW of capacity, and that offshore cable installation could begin as soon as 2019.

US Wind is currently going head to head with Deepwater Wind to secure a deal to sell power into Maryland, with the state’s regulator expected to announce the winner this spring. Deepwater emerged as a rival bidder in Maryland’s offshore race last year after buying the rights to a zone near Maryland from NRG Energy.

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The winning developer will be eligible to receive Offshore Renewable Energy Credits under the offshore wind carve-out Maryland inserted into its renewables portfolio standard in 2013.

Should US Wind secure a deal for its offshore zone, it would mean a huge first win in the nascent North American market for JDR, which is based in northeastern England and is a major cable supplier in the European offshore wind market.

The scope of US Wind’s “partnership” with JDR would see the cable specialist manufacturing 240 miles (386km) of inter-array and export cables and installing them off the mid-Atlantic US coast.

Late last year JDF snagged the largest contract in its history to build 242km of array cables for Dong Energy’s 1.2GW Hornsea One project in UK waters.

In making the case for its project, US Wind has touted the prospect of major job creation in Maryland and the shipyards of Baltimore.

“We’re interested in putting together a whole new offshore wind industry right here, in Maryland, and bringing JDR here is a big piece of that puzzle,” says US Wind president Riccardo Toto.

The $8.7m winning bid US Wind paid for its Maryland zones was by far the highest in the US offshore wind market’s history until last year, when Norway’s Statoil paid $42.5m for the rights to a zone near New York City.

South Korea’s LS Cable & Systems made the cables that connect Deepwater’s 30MW Block Island, the first US offshore wind farm, to land.