"NORFOLK -- The Obama administration announced Monday that it could begin leasing sites off the coasts of Virginia and three other states for wind energy development by the end of the year.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar also announced that the federal government would spend $50.5 million over the next five years to fund research and development to support offshore wind energy.
'Today's announcements represent major steps in our nation's march toward a clean energy future that will help to capture the possibilities that offshore wind power offers our country and offers our economy,' Salazar said Monday morning at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center in Norfolk.
The initiative aims to kick-start private development of offshore wind farms by offering locations and a framework for approving them. The goal is to avoid a controversy like the one that enveloped the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound off Massachusetts, which has been caught in political and regulatory problems for a decade."