Maryland set for offshore wind energy

Advocacy group sees investment as major hurdle.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Aug. 20, 2014 at 9:55 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Acreage off the Maryland coast could generate enough energy for 300,000 homes in a program from Texas energy company U.S. Wind Inc., the U.S. government said.

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a division of the Interior Department, said U.S. Wind Inc. is the provisional winner of a lease for acreage offshore Maryland for the development of wind energy. BOEM said the company secured access to approximately 80,000 acres with a total bid of $8.7 million.

The Interior Department said the area could support wind energy programs that would generate enough power to meet the annual needs of 300,000 homes when fully developed.

Onshore wind energy projects meet about 4.5 percent of the national demand, though there are no offshore wind farms in commercial operation in the country.

There was no comment from U.S. Wind Inc. in being the provisional winner of the auction.

Ocean conservation group Oceana applauded the development, but said the largest barrier to wind energy development offshore was attracting investments.

A tax credit for offshore wind expired last year.

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