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Offshore winds focus of Virginia conference

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Challenges facing wind development off Virginia’s coast are coming into focus at a conference on the renewable energy source in Virginia Beach.

Fishing interests, defense officials and the Virginia Port Authority all spoke Wednesday, outlining their concerns and possible conflicts with towering wind turbines sprouting off the coast.

Two representatives of the military said wind towers rising from the ocean bed have the potential to disrupt radar, and some military exercises involve live rounds.

Jeff Keever of the Virginia Port Authority said offshore winds could also interfere with shipping lanes.

The conference is aimed at bringing together various aspects of the offshore wind sector.

Advocates say Virginia has all the elements to develop a thriving offshore energy system, including a deep water port and optimal winds.

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