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Dominion Resources to Bid on 80,000 Acres of Offshore Wind Area

By Justin Loiseau - Feb 18, 2014 at 12:31PM

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The utility wants to be an energy leader in offshore wind.

Dominion Resources (D 0.69%) announced today that it plans to head to another auction for offshore wind leases.

The utility has requested to be in the bidding for two spots off the coast of Maryland totaling 80,000 acres of wind turbine area.

This latest move follows the utility's successful bid with the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for 113,000 acres off the coast of Virginia last September. At the time, Dominion said it bid $1.6 million to win the lease and planned to develop an offshore wind turbine farm capable of generating up to 2,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for 700,000 homes.

"Offshore wind shows the most promise for building utility-sized renewable energy projects in the Mid-Atlantic region," Mary Doswell, senior vice president for Dominion's alternative energy solutions unit, said in a press release. "The bureau's Wind Energy Areas offer both the consistent winds and the acreage to develop these large-scale projects. Given the proximity to our leased area off of Virginia and the excellent port in Hampton Roads, there should be economies of scale that could benefit both regions."

To help Dominion in its quest for offshore energy, The Department of Energy has awarded the company about $4.5 million to research cost efficiency improvements and develop a wind turbine demonstration project.

Although a date for the auction has yet to be set, the event is expected to take place sometime this year.

Dominion said the site 10 to 30 miles east of Ocean City offers up to 1,450 megawatts of potential wind power.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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