U.S. Selects Zones in Four States to Accelerate Offshore Wind

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government identified four locations for offshore wind projects, a move that may accelerate the development of renewable energy projects.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the Wind Energy Areas, along the coasts of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, during a conference call today.

Under the program, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement will conduct environmental reviews for the four areas and, if no significant issues are identified, may issue leases to energy developers by the end of this year.

The two agencies introduced in December a similar program to fast-track the development of solar energy plants at 24 sites on federal land.

The initiative will “quickly stand up an American offshore wind industry,” Salazar said in a statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Will Wade in New York at wwade4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net