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Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - 5:29pm

Ga. Offshore Wind a 'Matter of Time'

Now that the Obama administration has approved the nation's first-ever offshore wind farm in Massachusetts, wind advocates here in Georgia say, it's only a matter of time before Georgia follows suit.

Mary Hunt follows wind energy policy at Georgia Tech.

"The amount of work that has gone into this in terms of permitting has been phenomenal," Hunt says of the Massachusetts project. "So many other energy projects have not been subjected to the kind of scrutiny this project has."

Studies done about five years ago off the Georgia coast found ideal conditions for wind turbines.

Wind there is relatively steady and strong and the ocean floor isn't that deep.

And energy giant Southern Company is researching the idea.

"This could be a real economic boon for Georgia, even if there's not an offshore wind farm built here in the next few years," Hunt says. "We really anticipate that it's not a question of if it'll go off Georgia, we really believe, it'll be when."

Hunt says, the problem for Southern Company right now is more economic.

It's cheaper to produce energy using other methods.

She's hopeful Congress will consider an energy bill this year that will provide incentives to spark wind energy.

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