Pilot wind project given OK off Oregon coast

Feb. 6, 2014 at 7:55 AM

PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Interior said it gave its consent to Principle Power of Seattle to start developing plans for a wind farm off the Oregon coast.

Principle Power under the terms of the consent agreement will submit its plans for a 30-megawatt pilot wind energy project. It will feature five turbines positioned on floating platforms in Coos Bay off the Oregon coast. No development timeline was announced.

The company, which has headquarters in Seattle, received $4 million from the Energy Department to help fund its pilot project. The consent agreement follows an unsolicited request to the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for a commercial wind energy lease in May.

There was no statement from Principle Power on the consent agreement. In October, when a public comment period on the Oregon facility ended, the company said in a statement it had a similar system in place off the coast of Portugal. That prototype system has delivered more than seven gigawatt-hours of electricity since it went into service in 2011.

The Interior Department said in a statement Wednesday the wind regime off the western coast has the potential to generate more than 800 gigawatts of wind energy.

There are no commercial wind farms yet established in U.S. territorial waters. Two lease sales for wind energy development in the Atlantic Ocean last year drew more than $5 million in bids.

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