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Dominion To Bid On Maryland Offshore Wind Site

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Energy company Dominion Resources Inc. said Tuesday it plans to bid on a lease for a vast expanse of ocean off Maryland's coast set aside for the development of wind farms.

The Richmond, Va.-based company said it has filed with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to be among the bidders for the nearly 80,000 acres off the coast of Maryland.

An auction date hasn't been set but is expected to take place this year. The area will be auctioned in two separate leases.

Dominion, one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, said the site 10 to 30 miles east of Ocean City offers up to 1,450 megawatts of potential wind power.

"Offshore wind shows the most promise for building utility-sized renewable energy projects in the mid-Atlantic region," Mary Doswell, senior vice president for Dominion's Alternative Energy Solutions unit, said in a news release. "Given the proximity to our leased area off of Virginia and the excellent port in Hampton Roads, there should be economies of scale that could benefit both regions."

In September, the company submitted a successful $1.6 million bid to lease nearly 113,000 acres off the Virginia coast for the development of wind turbines that have the potential to generate 2,000 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power 700,000 homes.

Dominion has received awards from the U.S. Department of Energy to help fund the initial development of an offshore wind turbine demonstration project and find ways to reduce the cost of offshore wind generation.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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