Senate passes offshore wind bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -  

The Maryland Senate has passed a measure to help develop offshore wind.
 
   The Senate voted 30-15 for the bill on Friday.
 
   The measure has been a priority of Gov. Martin O'Malley, who pushed unsuccessfully for the bill in the last two years.
 
   O'Malley has conceded that challenges clearly remain to get the project developed off the coast of Ocean City. Still, he has expressed confident the measure will put Maryland on the right track to lead a partnership with neighboring states to lead offshore wind development off the East Coast.
 
   Critics have cited the expense of such a project. But supporters say ratepayers will only pay for electricity once it is generated and won't have to invest in infrastructure.
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