Statement of Glen Besa, VA Sierra Club Director on announcement of Gamesa/Northrup-Grumman deal on offshore wind turbines:
[October 6, 2010] – The announcement today by Gamesa and Northrup-Grumman of a deal to develop a new generation of offshore wind turbines bringing 40 new jobs to Hampton Roads is welcome news.
With this announcement and the potential for creating tens of thousands of good paying jobs in this new industry, we call upon Governor McDonnell to reexamine his lackluster enthusiasm for renewable energy. Virginia needs to jump on this opportunity and move forward with mandatory renewable energy standards so our state can realize its full potential in this emerging industry with all the green jobs that come with it.
The competition for this fast growing industry is fierce. A recent Business Facilities magazine article listed the top ten states in attracting alternative energy and Virginia was not among them. Florida and South Carolina were the only two east coast states among the top ten.
A report released by the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium in April found that just off the coast of Virginia Beach there is a potential of 3,200 MW of electricity; that is the equivalent of six 500 mw coal plants. Their report also found that development of this wind resource could generate 9,700 to 11,600 career length jobs over two decades. We need these jobs in Virginia. (Click here to view full VCERC report.)