Norfolk, Va. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Energy said Monday it intends to spend $50 million to speed the development of offshore wind farms, with a goal of issuing leases off four Atlantic Coast states by the end of the year.
The Interior Department said sites along the coasts of
Those states will receive expedited environmental reviews to help fast-track the projects.
In November, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar vowed to spur offshore wind projects in the
Calls to streamline the process came after an eight-year review process that finally resulted in a lease for the nation's first wind farm, off the coast of Massachusetts, was signed in October.
Each of the four sites identified Monday are off major tourist destinations, including
However, Salazar said the wind farms would be between 10 to 20 miles offshore - far enough that beachgoing vacationers wouldn't have their views ruined.
Potential wind project sites in the north
States would receive 27 percent of total revenues collected by the federal government for projects in federal waters, at least 3 miles offshore.