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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has launched a ‘Smart from the Start’ wind energy initiative for the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf to facilitate siting, leasing and construction of new projects, spurring the rapid and responsible development of this abundant renewable resource.

“Our ‘Smart from the Start’ Initiative for Atlantic wind will allow us to identify priority Wind Energy Areas (WEAs ) for potential development, improve our coordination with local, state, and federal partners, and accelerate the leasing process,” Salazar noted. “If we are wise with our planning, we can help build a robust and environmentally responsible offshore renewable energy program that creates jobs here at home.” The accelerated leasing process is being simplified through a regulatory change, enabling leases to be issued in 2011 and 2012. By January 2011, Requests for Interest and Calls for Information will be issued for these new WEAs to support lease sale environmental assessments. Maryland’s Request for Information has already been issued and those for New Jersey, Virginia, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts are being developed. Additional WEAs will be identified in 2011 for other Atlantic States, which may include areas offshore New York, Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
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