Spain's Gamesa Corp (GAM.MC) will be the first to plant an offshore wind turbine in the ocean off the east coast.
It will install a massive, 5 megawatt (MW), 479 foot-high prototype wind turbine three miles off the Virginia coast in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Testing should begin by late 2013.
Gamesa won unanimous approval from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.
Gamesa, the fourth largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world, selected Virginia for the test in part because of the state's "unique and efficient permitting process adopted for small energy projects," says Governor McDonnell.
There's a lot of movement toward offshore wind in the US, but no project has been approved yet. The Dept of Interior's Smart from the Start program is identifying priority sites off the Atlantic coast and the Dept of Energy announced a six -year $180 million initiative to support offshore wind farms that employ advanced technologies.
There are proposed offshore projects off the coasts of Long Island and Rhode Island.