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U.S. approves offshore wind lease

Oct. 24, 2012 at 7:31 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. government said it agreed to lease land about 11 nautical miles off the coast of Delaware for eventually wind energy development.

The U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management agreed to lease 96,430 acres of land off the coast of Delaware to NRG Bluewater Wind Delaware LLC.

"Delaware has remarkable offshore wind potential and harnessing this clean, domestic energy resource will create jobs, increase our energy security and strengthen our nation's economic competitiveness," U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement.

The company has the exclusive right to submit at least one plan to the Interior Department for wind energy development in the area. The agreement falls under a wind-energy development plan for the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.

NRG Bluewater, in an initial proposal, aims to build a 450-megawatt wind project that could generate enough electricity to meet the annual demands of 100,000 homes.

Washington cleared the way for an East Coast offshore wind energy transmission line in May. The decision paves the way for a transmission line that could carry 7,000 megawatts of electricity derived from wind energy to the mainland.

There are no commercial-scale wind farms offshore in the United States.

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