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US gives OK to research lease off Virginia coast for massive research wind turbines

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia — The government has given the green light for a project off Virginia's coast to test the waters for wind generation.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Tuesday that it has issued a lease to Virginia in federal waters for two wind turbines.

Each would rise more than 500 feet about 25 miles off Virginia Beach. They are intended to collect data on wind potential, weather and other conditions relevant to the development of wind turbines in open ocean waters.

Dominion Virginia Power would operate the turbines. The utility has also successfully bid on a vast expanse of ocean set aside for wind generation.

The turbines are scheduled to be erected in 2017, subject to state and federal reviews.

The project is financed by a $47 million federal research grant.

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