Eight companies are interested in developing 300 wind turbines off the coast of Ocean City, Md., the U.S. Department of the Interior announced Friday.

Two of the interested companies are headquartered in Maryland. The rest are based outside the state. The deadline to apply for commercial leases to develop the offshore wind farm was Jan. 10.

The Obama administration opened Maryland's coast to offshore wind farms in November and immediately began seeking bidders for the project. Roughly 300 spinning turbines could power about 30 percent of Maryland's energy needs, according to Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration.

O'Malley has made wind farm development a key initiative over his four years in office as part of his effort to obtain 20 percent of Maryland's energy needs from renewable sources by 2022. He says the project would employ 4,000 temporary manufacturing and construction jobs, as well as 800 permanent positions.

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement is still reviewing public comments on the wind farm, which also were due on Jan. 10.

The companies that applied to the government's request for interest include:

Fishermen's Energy of New Jersey, LLC

Bluewater Wind Maryland, LLC

Seawind Renewable Energy Corporation, LLC

Iberdrola Renewables, Inc.

Orisol Energy US, Inc.

Energy Management, Inc.

RES America Developments, Inc.