Governor Bob McDonnell unveiled a series of recommendations supporting wind energy

Yesterday, Governor Bob McDonnell unveiled a series of recommendations for the 2012 General Assembly session that will advance Virginia’s role as the Energy Capital of the East Coast.

“Virginia is blessed with a bounty of natural resources that can aid in our nation’s growing need for affordable and reliable energy sources,” Governor McDonnell said.  Speaking directly to offshore wind interests, McDonnell said, “(Including) the sustained winds off our Atlantic coast… the Commonwealth has the resources to provide a significant portion of our energy needs and to provide affordable energy resources to other states.”

“I applaud Governor McDonnell’s vision and leadership on this critical topic,” said J.J. Keever, chairman of the Virginia Offshore Wind Coalition, based in Norfolk, Va.  “The Governor rightly spoke of ‘removing bureaucratic hurdles to development’ and ‘reducing our nation’s dependence upon foreign sources of energy.’  He understands the significance of the opportunity that offshore wind offers the Commonwealth.”

Affirming the Governor’s announcement, Delegate John Cosgrove, representing Virginia’s 78th District, said, “Virginia should responsibly utilize all of our natural resources for an ‘all of the above’ approach to energy production, including conservation and renewable energy. Increased efficiency and conservation is a key component of meeting our future energy demands. Encouraging the private-sector development of renewable energy resources… will enhance the Commonwealth’s ability to meet our energy demands while protecting the quality of life for all who live in and visit our great Commonwealth.” 

The Governor also included the following budget initiative in his introduced budget:

  • $500,000 in FY13 for research and development to accelerate and assist private development of the Virginia Wind Energy Area
    • This will allow the Commonwealth to continue its efforts to develop data and additional information concerning the resource available in the federally designated “wind energy area” off the coast of Virginia. The data will be available to reduce development costs and assist developers in the federal leasing process.

The VOW Coalition is made up of developers, manufacturers, utilities, localities, business and environmental groups, and other organizations and individuals who have an interest in offshore wind. Together we have a strong message, as the most diverse interests speak with one voice in support of bringing offshore wind energy to Virginia.