RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia plans to survey a vast expanse of the ocean floor and document wind, waves and wildlife offshore to smooth the way for the development of wind turbines.
The proposed exploration is 27 miles off Virginia Beach and encompasses 113,000 acres, or 133 square miles. Eight energy companies have said they're interested in building turbines in the federally designated wind development area.
The eight include Dominion Virginia Power, the state's largest utility, as well as international interests.
The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy is proposing the two initiatives. One would assess the ocean bottom's suitability for placing the massive support structures for wind turbines. The other involves the construction of platforms along the edges of the commercial lease area. It would take an array of measurements.