Officials announce step to develop offshore energy

RALEIGH - Federal and state officials say the U.S. Department of the Interior is moving ahead to designate sites for development of offshore wind energy off the North Carolina coast.

A formal notice invites interested parties to provide submissions of interest in obtaining one or more commercial leases from the agency that would authorize the construction and operation of a renewable energy project.

"The bottom line is that we are one step closer to developing North Carolina's tremendous wind resources off our coast," said Zak Keith of the NC Sierra Club.

Governor Beverly Perdue said, "this is good news and an important step in North Carolina's responsible development of our offshore energy resources which will move our nation closer to energy independence."

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