Sept. 4, 2013
Virginia Dominion Power has submitted a high bid of $1.6 million for nearly 113,000 acres off the state's coast for the development of wind power.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said Dominion was one of two bidders. Eight energy companies were qualified to bid.
While it is expected to take years to site towering turbines 20-plus miles off Virginia Beach, the area has the potential to generate enough power for more than 700,000 homes.
Nearly 113,000 acres off Virginia's coast went up for auction Wednesday, with eight energy companies eligible to bid on the right to develop wind farms that could power more than 700,000 homes.
Bidding began at 10:30 AM at a minimum of $2 an acre and ended about three hours later with top bid of $1.142 million.
Dominion will have about five years to submit proposed design and construction plans.
Clean energy advocates said the Virginia lease auction is a milestone in the development of an offshore wind industry. The U.S. does not have an offshore wind farm, although several are in development.
Studies have estimated that the development of an offshore wind industry would create in the range of 10,000 jobs in Virginia.
Advocates of offshore wind power have said Virginia's port facilities and underused shipbuilding industry are key assets to develop a supply chain for the wind industry.