PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The federal government says it plans to sell leases for wind farms off the coasts of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Virginia, marking the first time it has sold competitive leases for wind energy on the outer continental shelf.
The Department of Interior and its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Friday said the leases for two offshore areas totaling nearly 278,000 acres would be sold next year.
The so-called "wind energy area" off Rhode Island and Massachusetts will be leased in two parcels, while the Virginia area will be available as a single lease.
Officials say each area could be developed to generate enough electricity to power 700,000 homes.
The conservation group Oceana calls the announcement a major step forward in developing clean energy in the U.S.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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