Five companies interested in offshore wind power projects along NC coastline

Five companies have expressed an interest in developing wind farms off the shore of North Carolina, according to a report from the McClatchy Co.

Although the federal government must finish an environmental study before auctioning offshore leases, it asked companies last December if they would be interested in developing offshore wind projects in North Carolina, with five companies expressing interest in filings released earlier this week, according to McClatchy.

However, it could be more than five years before turbine construction might begin because of the time it takes to develop offshore wind power projects, the North Carolina Offshore Wind Coalition told McClatchy.

The McClatchy report states the five companies that have expressed interest are Virginia Electric and Power Co., part of the Dominion (NYSE: D) utility that serves Virginia and northeastern North Carolina; Fishermen’s Energy LLC; EDF Renewable Energy, a subsidiary of a French company; Green Sail Energy; and Apex Wind Energy.

There are currently no offshore wind farms in the U.S., though several locations have been targeted for potential projects. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar stated last month that the department’s Bureau of Ocean Management will propose additional commercial lease sales this year for wind energy areas offshore New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts.

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