BALTIMORE – Offshore wind farms from New Jersey to Virginia took a big step closer to reality with the completion of a review that showed the renewable energy source would not cause major environmental damage, officials said Thursday.

Obama administration Interior Secretary Ken Salazar also said his department was trying to speed up the process for issuing renewable energy leases.

Wind projects off the coasts of Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and New Jersey are being studied.

The Mid-Atlantic lease proposal follows the Cape Wind project in Massachusetts that was given the go-ahead in 2010 after years of federal review. That project is still in development and Salazar said the department had learned from that experience.

“No developer should have to wait nine or 10 years” for approval, Salazar said.


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