Industries Energy/Green

Virginia receives lease to advance offshore wind project

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Virginia has received a federal wind energy lease, an important step in the construction of two offshore research wind turbines.

With the announcement, Virginia becomes the first state in the national to receive such a lease from the United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

The commonwealth applied for the lease in 2013 and has named Dominion Virginia Power as the lease operator.

The 30-year lease is an important step in Dominion’s ongoing efforts to build and operate the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP). The project includes the design and construction of two Alstom 6-megawatt wind turbines about 24 nautical miles east of the Virginia Beach shoreline.

The research project will be used to test the construction of wind turbuines as well as the wind energy potential in the area.

The research lease area is adjacent to Dominion’s commercial Wind Energy Area. Data gathered from the two test turbines will support Dominion’s future commercial-scale wind power development by reducing costs, maximizing turbine availability and service life, and minimizing environmental impacts.

“Developing our clean energy resources is an essential element of building a new Virginia economy,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement. “With this research lease, Virginia is positioned to be the first state to build wind turbines in the Atlantic Ocean and take the next step toward the clean energy economy we need to create jobs and lower energy costs now and into the future.”

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