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The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has found that there is no competitive interest in the area where the Commonwealth of Virginia's Department of Mines Minerals and Energy (DMME) has proposed to conduct offshore wind energy research.

Last year, the DMME submitted to BOEM an unsolicited nomination for a research lease for an area offshore Virginia. As an initial step in the leasing process, BOEM published a public notice to determine if there was other interest in acquiring a research lease for the area in which the proposed project would be located.

This will be the first wind energy research lease on the Outer Continental Shelf that BOEM has issued to a state agency. The data obtained under the research lease will be made publicly available and support the future production of renewable energy within and around Virginia's wind energy area.

"Data collected under this research lease will be valuable to the offshore renewable energy industry, as well as to BOEM and other government agencies, universities, environmental organizations and other key stakeholders,” says BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau.

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