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Cheverly Wind Turbine: A Window Into The Not-So-Distant Future

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The town of Cheverly, Md., is the first in Prince George's County to get a wind turbine, and energy advocates say it's a window into the future of energy in Maryland.

Right now, it's just a 10-by-10 concrete slab, but in a few weeks, it'll be a 70-foot wind turbine that will generate half of the Cheverly Public Works facility's electricity.

"The entire thing only cost $35,000, we feel that we could save almost $5- to $15,000 a year," says Town Administrator David Warrington.

The biggest energy possibilities, though, are offshore. An estimated 14 gigawatts -- enough to power 60 percent of the state's needs -- could be achieved with current technology.

But while Cheverly can put up a turbine in a couple of months, a huge wind farm needs a lot more time and resources.

Brad Heavner, head of Environment Maryland, says "there are two things, basically, that a wind power company needs to build the offshore wind farm: one is a permit, and, two, is financing."

Last week the federal government shortened the permitting process. Financing is still in the brainstorming stage. One proposal would have the federal government agree to buy electricity from wind farms.

The Maryland Energy Administration says it's looking at a range of options.

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