Offshore Va. wind research focus of US meeting

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A public meeting is scheduled in Virginia Beach on offshore test turbines that could smooth the way for the development of wind farms 20-plus miles off the sandy beaches of the resort city.

The meeting Thursday is sponsored by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. It will focus on the environmental impacts of the wind turbines, which would be capable of producing 12 megawatts of wind energy.

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy has requested a research lease for the turbines.

Proponents of clean wind energy, including the Sierra Club, are expected to attend the meeting and press for construction of an offshore wind farm off the coast by 2020.

Dominion Virginia Power successfully bid for the vast offshore leasing area.

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