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Project seeks to smooth way for offshore Va. winds

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The state is teaming up with Dominion Virginia Power in a research project that is intended to smooth the way for the development of an offshore wind industry.

The Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advance Project proposes putting two 6-megawatt wind turbines on platforms designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. The turbines would be located 24 nautical miles (27 statute miles) off Virginia Beach.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Thursday it is seeking written public comment on the project as it prepares an environmental assessment. It scheduled a meeting for April 3 in Virginia Beach for the public to speak out on the proposal.

Last September, Dominion submitted a successful bid of $1.6 million bid to lease nearly 113,000 offshore acres for the development of wind power. Full development of the area could produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 700,000 homes.

Besides the turbines, the project would also include cable linking the turbines to the electric grid in Virginia Beach. The project is expected to be operational by 2017.

The so-called demonstration project received a $4 million grant from the U.S. Energy Department. In May, the DOE will select up to three projects nationwide for further advancement with $47 million in grants. The ``demonstration area'' is adjacent to the area designated for wind power development.

The area was carved out of the Atlantic after extended negotiations involving the Navy, Coast Guard, commercial fishing interests, port officials and NASA, which operates a launch center on the Eastern Shore. This section of the coast is one of the busiest on the Eastern seaboard. It includes the world's largest naval base in Norfolk.

Studies have estimated that the development of an offshore wind industry in Virginia would create about 10,000 jobs.

Partners in the research project include the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, the Energy Department, and related industry groups.


“Studies have estimated that the development of an offshore wind industry in Virginia would create about 10,000 jobs”

I bet you the mining of Uranium in Central Virginia will create more full time jobs than a 1-time construction project of putting up a windmill or solar panel. We just need to get the left wing radicals out of the way and lift the Moratorium.

You are right TroyMcClure, my inadvertent mistake.

IMHO, these type of projects, wind turbine and solar, are one of the biggest scams ever perpetrated against the American taxpayer.

Thanks Qued.  No study on waterfowl vs. offshore wind turbines, because of not enough data yet, I guess.  Pelicans fly pretty low to the water, so it will probably be the gulls that end up getting sliced, if any.

Not sure where a proposed solar project is discussed in this article.

This is a total and utter waste of taxpayer’s money.

Solar never, ever, ever pays for itself. It must always be subsidized by the taxpayer. More deficit spending, charged on a Government credit card for our children to pay for.

Big corporations always ” team-up” (“tag-team” is a more appropriate term) with the Govt so they can get their hands on these massive, and I guarantee wasteful, taxpayer provided grants.

Ray Farrell
Bluemont, VA

Waste of money on a measly 6 Megawatts.


Curious - what happens when a flock of pelicans accidentally fly into the blades of one of these ? I know what happens to the birds, but will the props sustain damage by being hit by several 10 lb. objects ?

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