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Offshore Wind Energy Efforts Lagging in the Old Dominion

When it comes to offshore wind energy development, some environmental organizations say Virginia leaders are on the right track, but they need to greatly pick up the pace. An alliance that includes Environment Virginia and the Virginia Conservation Network says other East Coast states are eyeing wind-turbine dominance. The groups say the slow-moving Commonwealth could lose out on many of the benefits associated with its development. 

Environment Virginia's Sarah Bucci says a new study ranks Virginia in the middle among its Atlantic Coast peers but leading in the Southeast—due to its successful leasing contract with Dominion Virginia Power.

Many more acres are available for development. The Southern Environmental Law Center’s David Carr says Dominion is working on a small-scale project over the next 15-years, but Europeans have demonstrated that larger-scale projects can be completed in less time. He says the state should be more aggressive.

He says the build-out of the Virginia resource could provide up to 10,000 clean energy jobs. The groups say the Virginia Energy plan that’s being crafted is the first opportunity to get more aggressive. They’re calling on the Governor to ensure that clean renewable energy, including wind, will be a significant part of it.

Tommie McNeil is a State Capitol reporter who has been covering Virginia and Virginia politics for more than a decade. He originally hails from Maryland, and also doubles as the evening anchor for 1140 WRVA in Richmond.