RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The federal government has cleared the way for Virginia to seek a research lease in Atlantic waters to measure winds, waves and wildlife and help speed development of offshore wind turbines.
The announcement Thursday by U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was welcomed by Gov. Bob McDonnell, energy companies and proponents of clean energy.
Bidding is expected later this year by up to 10 energy companies that have expressed an interest in building wind farms in the federally designated leasing area, which encompasses 133 square miles about 27 miles off Virginia Beach.
The data collected by the research platforms positioned in the northern and southern portions of the leasing area are critical to developing wind energy.