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Project seeks to smooth way for offshore Va. winds

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 13, 2014 at 5:00 pm •  Published: March 13, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The state is teaming up with Dominion Virginia Power in a research project that is intended to smooth the way for the development of an offshore wind industry.

The Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advance Project proposes putting two 6-megawatt wind turbines on platforms designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. The turbines would be located 24 nautical miles (27 statute miles) off Virginia Beach.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Thursday it is seeking written public comment on the project as it prepares an environmental assessment. It scheduled a meeting for April 3 in Virginia Beach for the public to speak out on the proposal.

Last September, Dominion submitted a successful bid of $1.6 million bid to lease nearly 113,000 offshore acres for the development of wind power. Full development of the area could produce 2,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 700,000 homes.

Besides the turbines, the project would also include cable linking the turbines to the electric grid in Virginia Beach. The project is expected to be operational by 2017.

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