The Obama administration today announced plans to sell leases for preliminary offshore wind energy development activities in two areas of federal waters recently identified and reviewed off the coasts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Virginia. The leases will be sold through a competitive auction in 2013:
"Wind energy along the Atlantic holds enormous potential, and today we are moving closer to tapping into this massive domestic energy resource to create jobs, increase our energy security and strengthen our nation's competitiveness in this new energy frontier," said [Interior Secretary Ken] Salazar. "We are implementing the President's all-of-the-above strategy by focusing on developing areas with the lowest potential conflicts and the greatest expected gains. As we experience record domestic oil and gas development, we are moving forward at the same time with efforts to ensure that America continues to lead the world at developing the energy of the future."
The lease sales, which will be held next year, will be the first-ever competitive sales on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for wind energy, and are major milestones in the Administration's "Smart from the Start" wind energy program to facilitate the siting, leasing and construction of new projects. These lease sales cover two WEAs along the Atlantic coast that have high wind resource potential. [...]
The proposed lease area offshore Virginia will be auctioned as a single lease and totals about 112,800 acres about 23.5 nautical miles offshore southern Virginia. It is expected to support more than 2,000 MW of wind generation - also enough electricity to power 700,000 homes. For a map of the proposed area, click here.
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