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The state of Maryland is looking to buy electricity generated from animal waste. When waste from chicken and cows gets into streams and waterways, it winds up polluting the Chesapeake Bay, causing algae blooms and dead zones.
But when it's put into a digester and broken down by bacteria, it can produce gas that can be used to produce energy. Maryland is looking for suppliers who can make that happen as part of the Clean Bay Power project.
Energy suppliers must be able to generate up to 10 megawatts and be connected to the regional electricity grid. They'd have to start supplying power to the state by the end of 2015.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who launched the project Thursday, says the effort will promote the use of renewable energy, reduce the amount of agricultural pollution that reaches the Chesapeake Bay, and encourage job creation. The state's goal is to have 20 percent of energy come from renewable sources by 2022.