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Md. wind power bill could move Wednesday

Md. wind power bill could move Wednesday

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Del. Dereck E. Davis said the fate of the governor’s wind power proposal could come down to a “one or two vote outcome, either way.”

“I think it could go 12-11, either way,” said Davis, referring to the vote in the  Economic Matters Committee, which he chairs.

Gov. Martin O’Malley’s bill would require utilities to enter into long-term contracts to purchase 400-600 megawatts of electricity generated by a wind farm off the state’s Atlantic coast.

Concerns over the costs to consumers sparked interest in watering the bill down to a study this year, and O’Malley has twice moved to allay those worries. First, he proposed a price cap of $2 per month per consumer (as long as you use 1,000 kilowatt hours) for the first year of off-shore generation, then extended that cap for the life of the project.

“It most definitely is going to raise energy bills in the short-term,” said Davis.

A vote in Economic Matters could come as early as Wednesday, Davis said, adding that he supports the bill as a way to move Maryland to producing more of its own electricity.

“If we’re thinking about the future, this is the right way to go.”

Also Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee, which is handling the bill in the upper chamber, is scheduled to hold a work session on the legislation.

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