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Italian firm wins Maryland offshore wind leases

Italian firm wins Maryland offshore wind leases

An Italian renewable-energy company won the rights to develop offshore wind projects in nearly 80,000 acres of Atlantic waters off Maryland's coast with an $8.7 million bid Tuesday.

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management declared US Wind Inc. the provisional winner of a daylong auction for a pair of federal leases 10 nautical miles offshore, where federal officials say enough turbines could be placed to power 300,000 homes. US Wind is an offshoot of Renexia, the renewable-energy arm of Italian construction giant Toto S.p.A.

Construction remains years off and still faces significant financial and regulatory hurdles. Though there are dozens of offshore wind energy projects...