Under the lease, DMME will design, develop and demonstrate a 12MW grid-connected offshore test facility on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off the coast of Virginia.

Derived data and experience from the project will be made publicly available for future projects in the state.

To be built beside Virginia Wind Energy Area (WEA), the facility is expected to increase production in the area.

BOEM director Abigail Ross Hopper said: "The data collected under this research lease will help us understand the wind potential, weather and other conditions relevant to standing up wind power generation offshore Virginia.

"This data will be valuable not only to BOEM and DMME, but also to other government agencies, the offshore renewable energy industry, universities, environmental organizations and others."

Lease application for the project was forwarded to BOEM in February 2013.

DMME will install and operate two 6MW turbines at the offshore site and be responsible for establishing its cable connections to the shore. It will also handle ancillary metocean facilities, including meteorological buoys for the project.

DMME is expected to submit its Research Activities Plan for the project to BOEM before it starts installation of the turbines and the cables. When operational, the project can power up to 3,000 US households.