Virginia is making the case to the federal government that it's a great place to put offshore wind turbines to the test with a $60 million to $80 million demonstration center.
The state made the pitch this week to the U.S. Department of Energy, which is considering proposals to develop a center where wind turbines would undergo engineering and operational tests. The proposed Virginia test location is in the Hampton Roads area.
While offshore winds have been used widely and for many years in Northern Europe, the U.S. this year approved its first offshore wind farm, in Massachusetts.
The demonstration project would place fixed offshore wind turbines in three locations in shallow to intermediate waters.
Four energy companies have expressed interest in developing offshore winds in Virginia.