RICHMOND (AP) -- Virginia and a consortium of companies are collaborating on an Eastern Shore center to test and certify large wind turbines.
Called Poseidon Atlantic, the testing center announced Thursday will be based in Northampton County, which has adopted an ordinance allowing wind turbines up to 750 feet tall. The center's creators call the ordinance the most wind-friendly in the nation.
Poseidon Atlantic will create up to 25 jobs over the next two years.
Gov. Bob McDonnell called the project "transformational" for the future development of offshore wind technology because of what he called the lack of certification facilities worldwide.
Certifying the technology is critical to attracting financing. The center will test land-based and offshore wind turbines.
The Norfolk office of Dutch-based Fugro will provide engineering services associated with site location and development of the proposed test center. The governor says Fugro has been a key partner in the development of more than 100 installed and proposed European offshore wind projects, and has been a key supporter for the development of an offshore wind industry in the U.S.
"If this industry takes root and matures, we could create thousands of new jobs in manufacturing, construction, logistics, operations and maintenance activities,” Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling said. “Many of these jobs are skilled positions with very competitive wages and benefits, and they would produce a sustained and long term economic benefit for Virginia.” (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)