WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. regulators said they started the steps needed to advance offshore wind energy off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar joined Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Director Michael Bromwich to announce from Washington that the government had taken preliminary steps to develop commercial wind energy off the U.S. coast.
The agency directors invited developers to look at areas off the U.S. East Coast that would be good for commercial wind energy projects. The BOEMRE is asking for public comments on potential environmental issues.
"This is a major step forward in our efforts to promote wind energy off the Atlantic Coast," Bromwich said in a statement.
State senators said the first steps toward offshore wind energy would be good for the creation of a manufacturing base along the east coast.
The government identified four wind energy areas off the coast of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia early this year.