Virginia next step for offshore wind energy

The agency is publishing the call for information and nominations aimed at industry interest in locations off the Virginia coast for commercial wind energy leases, the first step in the leasing process. It describes the areas that will be made available and solicits expression of interest from developers.

Wind farm developers will have 15 days to respond to the call. Once responses are received, the bureau will determine whether their leasing process will be competitive or non-competitive.

The govenor’s comments came as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced in Baltimore that a recently completed review is a major step toward developing wind energy off the coasts of Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and New Jersey.

Salazar said an environmental impact assessment found no significant problems with issuing wind power leases in areas off the mid-Atlantic coast.

The Mid-Atlantic lease proposal follows the Cape Wind farm project in Massachusetts that was given the go-ahead in 2010 after years of federal review. That wind turbines project is still in development.