New national report pushes for more wind power

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About 6 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind projects have been proposed up and down the Atlantic Coast — the equivalent of about five coal-fired power plants. That’s enough power for 1.5 million U.S. homes, a new national report revealed Wednesday.

However, the proposals represent only a small amount of the potential of more than 212 GW of wind resources, according to the report released in conjunction with 35 nonprofits in 12 states, including environmental, labor, sportsman and business organizations.

In Virginia, the report, “Offshore Wind in the Atlantic: Growing Momentum for Jobs, Energy Independence, Clean Air and Wildlife Protection,” found 26.1 GW of commercially viable wind power. 

“984 offshore wind turbines are spinning right now in Europe and not one in the Atlantic,” said Curtis Fisher, the offshore wind initiative leader at the National Wildlife Federation.  “… This new industry holds great potential to create jobs, cut pollution and our reliance on dirty fossil fuels.”

Chelsea Harnish, the Virginia Policy Coordinator with Chesapeake Climate Action Network, said in a statement that Virginia has plenty of competition up and down the East Coast to become a clean energy leader.

The groups want the federal government to improve the offshore wind permitting process, invest in research for offshore wind energy and coordinate planning with existing infrastructure and industries such as ports and fishing.  In Virginia, the Virginia Conservation Network, Environment Virginia, Sierra Club-Virginia and Chesapeake Climate Action Network were among the sponsors of the report.



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