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Virginia next in line for wind farms?

Virginia officials asked the department to consider allowing turbines off its coast after receiving two unsolicited proposals last year. One of the interested parties is French company AREVA, which builds wind turbines in Germany and plans to build nuclear reactor parts in Virginia.

Matsen expects a decision from Interior Department early next year

The federal government is seeking bids from energy companies to develop wind farms off the coasts of Delaware and Maryland.

Virginia should be next, according to Maureen Matsen, the state's deputy secretary of natural resources.

"I am expectant and hopeful that Virginia will be the third," she said Tuesday, a day after the Interior Department opened 277 nautical square miles off Maryland's coast to wind power developers.

Virginia officials asked the department to consider allowing turbines off its coast after receiving two unsolicited proposals last year. One of the interested parties is French company AREVA, which builds wind turbines in Germany and plans to build nuclear reactor parts in Virginia.

Matsen, who said department officials are reviewing the state's request, expects a decision early next year at the latest. It could be the first step toward diversifying the state's energy portfolio, which consists mostly of coal, nuclear power and natural gas.

The Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium, a state-created panel of academics and industry leaders,... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Matsen expects a decision from Interior Department early next year

The federal government is seeking bids from energy companies to develop wind farms off the coasts of Delaware and Maryland.

Virginia should be next, according to Maureen Matsen, the state's deputy secretary of natural resources.

"I am expectant and hopeful that Virginia will be the third," she said Tuesday, a day after the Interior Department opened 277 nautical square miles off Maryland's coast to wind power developers.

Virginia officials asked the department to consider allowing turbines off its coast after receiving two unsolicited proposals last year. One of the interested parties is French company AREVA, which builds wind turbines in Germany and plans to build nuclear reactor parts in Virginia.

Matsen, who said department officials are reviewing the state's request, expects a decision early next year at the latest. It could be the first step toward diversifying the state's energy portfolio, which consists mostly of coal, nuclear power and natural gas.

 The Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium, a state-created panel of academics and industry leaders, issued a report in April identifying 25 lease blocks off Virginia Beach that could provide 3,200 megawatts of electricity, or roughly 10 percent of the state's power consumption.

The turbines would not be visible from shore, and the area is outside of NASA Wallops' rocket launching range and Navy live-ordnance ranges. The Defense Department, which is under orders to increase alternative energy use, gave preliminary approval to 18 of the lease blocks.

Building offshore wind farms is more expensive than building coal-fired or natural gas power plants, the report says, but the difference could be cut in half if parts are manufactured in Virginia.

Last month, Spanish company Gamesa announced a partnership with Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Newport News shipyard to build wind turbines at an undisclosed location. Internet search engine Google partnered with several companies to announce that it will build a $5 billion underwater transmission line from New Jersey to Virginia.

Both endeavors would provide much-needed infrastructure to grow offshore wind power on the East Coast. The federal government has approved only one project, the 420-megawatt Cape Wind farm in Massachusetts' Nantucket Sound.

If Virginia's request is approved, there will be a 60-day period for developers to respond. From there, the department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement would begin a review process that could take two years.


Source: http://articles.dailypress....

NOV 11 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/28846-virginia-next-in-line-for-wind-farms
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