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03 Apr 2009: Offshore Wind Generation
Could Meet U.S. Power Needs, Report Says

The U.S. Interior Department says that extensive development of offshore wind power could supply enough electricity to meet the nation’s current demand. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, speaking at a conference on offshore energy sources, released a report by the Minerals Management Service (MMS) saying that placing wind turbines in easily accessible shallow waters could generate 20 percent of the electricity used in coastal states. Wind power arrays built farther off the Atlantic Coast could produce enough electricity to meet a quarter of the nation’s demand. But to produce even greater amounts of electricity would require placing wind farms in deeper and more technically difficult locations off the West Coast and Hawaii, Salazar said. Salazar emphasized wind energy’s potential and did not discuss offshore oil and gas development in depth; the MMS report said oil reserves off the Pacific coast alone equaled 10 billion to 18 billion barrels.

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