The federal government cleared the way for Virginia to seek a research lease in its Atlantic coastal areas to help speed up development.
The move would allow for greater study of wind, waves and wildlife in a 130-square-mile set aside for wind development. The announcement by U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was welcomed by Gov. Bob McDonnell, energy companies and proponents of clean energy, reports Associated Press.
Bidding is expected later this year by up to 10 energy companies interested in building wind farms in the federally designated leasing area 27 miles off Virginia Beach. The companies include Energy Management Inc., developer of the nation’s first offshore wind project off Massachusetts’ Cape Cod, and Dominion Virginia Power, the state’s largest electric utility.