Governor McDonnell Announces Wind Energy Leases Advancing off Virginia Coast
RICHMOND - Governor McDonnell announced today that the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is moving forward with the next step in offshore wind energy development off the Virginia coast. The BOEM is publishing the call for information and nominations aimed at industry interest in locations off the Virginia coast for commercial wind energy leases. The call is the first step in the leasing process. It describes the areas that will be made available and solicits expression of interest from developers. Developers will have 45 days to respond to the call. Once responses are received, BOEM will determine whether their leasing process will be competitive or non-competitive.
"Cost-effective development of Virginia's offshore wind resources is one important component of our overall effort to make Virginia 'The Energy Capital of the East Coast,'"said Governor McDonnell. "America must continue to generate electricity from traditional sources such as coal, nuclear and natural gas, while moving forward in pursuit of innovative alternative sources like wind, solar and biomass. We must also maintain reasonable energy costs and a reliable, consistent supply. Our partnership with BOEM, and this step forward toward offshore wind development builds on the strong foundation laid by the Virginia Task Force and our private partners like the VOW Coalition, Huntington Ingalls, Gamesa and others."
"We are working closely with the Commonwealth of Virginia to facilitate the commercial leasing process for renewable energy in federal waters off Virginia's coast and are building on the steps that the Commonwealth has taken to encourage offshore wind development," said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau. "This, along with the completion of BOEM's environmental assessment of leasing in the mid-Atlantic area, are significant milestones in identifying and refining priority areas for potential offshore commercial wind energy development."
The location under consideration in today's announcement - or call area - was identified by the intergovernmental Virginia Renewable Energy Task Force, which includes federal, state, local and tribal government representatives. The call area is intended to maximize the area available for commercial offshore wind development while balancing these efforts with military and commercial shipping interests and the protection of the environment.
A map of the call area can be found at: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/State-Activities/Virginia.aspx.
The notice is available through the Federal Register at: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/public-inspection/index.html.
# # #