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Offshore Wind Development A Step Closer In Virginia, But Still A Way To Go

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Wind power is poised on the brink of expansion off of Virginia's coast.
Phil Hollman: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pjh/185488397/
Wind power is poised on the brink of expansion off of Virginia's coast.

Sustainable wind energy gathered off the coast of Virginia is a step close to reality.

The Virginia Conservation Network does not deny that using wind turbines can be an expensive venture, but David Carr with the Southern Environmental Law Center says solid progress is being made in opening the Atlantic outer continental shelf to offshore wind development.

"They are poised to lease nearly 113,000 acres off of Virginia Beach about 23 miles out and further," says Carr. "Virginia wind energy area has a 2,400 mega watt potential."

Carr says the state and federal governments must prioritize offshore wind development, which is far from the status quo, as companies that use fossil fuels receive five times more federal incentives. He's urging the state's Congressional delegation to support extending the Production and Investment Tax Credit, which reduces the upfront cost of placing wind turbines in the water.

Carr and other supporters contend that if the U.S. would invest in wind energy the same way Europe has, the nation would be more energy-efficient and create thousands of new jobs.

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