Virginia joins tri-state partnership for off-shore wind energy

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Governors from Virginia, Maryland and Delaware agreed Wednesday to create a partnership to build offshore wind energy sources in the Mid-Atlantic coastal region.

The memorandum of understanding calls for the states to identify common transmission strategies for offshore wind energy, develop ideas to create demand for the renewable energy and pursue federal policies that would boost offshore wind energy.

The agreement also calls for the states to create a regional supply-chain facilities to secure supply, deployment and operations functions to support offshore wind facilities. They will also work with higher-education institutions to create training and work-force development.

“With our extensive coastline and highly educated work force, Virginia is particularly well-suited to explore offshore wind energy opportunities,” said Gov. Timothy M. Kaine in a statement. “In these tough economic times, it’s more important than ever that we invest in renewable energy sources that will create jobs and provide cleaner, more affordable energy for our families and communities. One of the best things we can do to lift ourselves out of a challenging economy today is to invest in a greener, cleaner tomorrow.”

Earlier this year Kaine sent a letter to Elizabeth Birnbaum, director of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service, asking her to create a federal-regional task force to study leasing Virginia’s offshore waters for wind power development.

Delaware already has a power purchase agreement in place for offshore wind.

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