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Maryland Offshore Wind Plan Likely to Pass, but Will It Be Built?

Feb 5, 2013
Source: 
(Washington Post)

After years of trying, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is poised to win approval from state lawmakers in the coming weeks for a field of towering windmills in the Atlantic Ocean.

But the tortured process of garnering support has left O’Malley (D) with a project so small — one able to generate just half the energy of a single power plant — that developers and banks probably won’t take the financial risk, experts predict.

That would leave Maryland in the same position as several other states, including Virginia, whose plans for offshore wind projects have been stalled by bureaucratic, financial and legal challenges. Not a single wind farm has been built in the Atlantic, although at least six have been proposed.

In Maryland, developers say they don’t think they could get necessary financing because the project would be too costly, given its reduced size and the scaled-back subsidy from Maryland households.