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Company building wind farm off Ocean City shore in Maryland bought by Danish wind giant

The Rhode Island company that plans to build an offshore wind farm northeast of Ocean City has been bought by a Danish firm in a deal that will create a U.S. wind energy giant with the largest pipeline of projects.

The $510 million acquisition of D.E. Shaw Group’s Deepwater Wind by Orsted is not expected to change the timeline of any of the wind farm projects, including the one about 19.5 miles off the Maryland ’s coast close to the Delaware line, according to Jeffrey Grybowski, CEO of Deepwater Wind.

He said, however, that the merger could help bolster the projects.

“Orsted comes with tremendous engineering and construction expertise,” he said. “They have 1,200 turbines offshore today and they built the first in 1991 off the coast of Denmark. Clearly they are pioneers in our industry and we’re excited to team up with them.”

Deepwater Wind was given permission to sell the farm’s energy to the state in 2017 and is now in the process of collecting data to apply for environmental permits from federal and state authorities.

The company began examining the ocean floor months ago but bad weather sidelined the Annapolis-based crews for weeks. Grybowski expects the data collection on the area’s ecology and marine life to continue into the fall, and then it will take several more months to evaluate the data.

The applications for the project, called Skipjack, should be filed in mid-2019, and if all goes according to schedule, the farm could be operational at the end of 2022.

That could make it the second wind farm on the East Coast, behind one Deepwater Wind operates in Rhode Island. Other projects are in the works in Connecticut and New York.

The project is one of two proposed in Maryland. Such projects have drawn objection from some communities and officials for potentially wrecking the ocean view from the beaches.

Grybowski said at Skipjack’s planned offshore distance, the wind turbines would be tough to make out by beachgoers in either Maryland or Delaware. They will look about the size of passing cargo ships in the distance, he said.