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Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issues first wind energy research lease in Federal offshore waters

With this research lease, Virginia seeks to lead the way in building wind turbines in the Atlantic Ocean and take the next step toward the clean energy economy.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has executed a wind energy research lease with the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME). The action is part of the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy resources and cut carbon pollution.

This marks the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s first executed wind energy research lease. Under this lease, DMME proposes to design, develop and demonstrate a grid-connected, 12 MW offshore wind test facility on the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of Virginia – adjacent to the Virginia Wind Energy Area. The data obtained and lessons learned from this project will be made publicly available and inform the future production of renewable energy within the WEA.

“Developing our clean energy resources is an essential element of building a new Virginia economy,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “With this research lease, Virginia is leading the way in building wind turbines in the Atlantic Ocean and taking the next step toward the clean energy economy we need to create jobs and lower energy costs now and into the future.”

The data collected under this research lease will help the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management understand the wind potential, weather and other conditions relevant to standing up wind power generation offshore Virginia. “This data will be valuable not only to BOEM and DMME, but also to other government agencies, the offshore renewable energy industry, universities, environmental organizations and others,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, director of Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
In 2012 the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced funding awards for seven proposed "Offshore Wind Demonstration Projects." One of the awards was given to Dominion Resources, Inc., which partnered with DMME and others to establish the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP). This was also one of three projects to receive a second funding award from DOE in 2014 for deployment activities.

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Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Wind power