imgresBy Andrew Herndon

The U.S. Department of Energy will award as much as $169 million to seven proposed offshore wind projects in six states.

The wind farms, off the coasts of Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Virginia, will receive as much as $4 million to complete engineering, site evaluation and other pre- construction work, the Energy Department said today in a statement. Three will be selected to get as much as $47 million to fund construction and operations by 2017, the agency said.

The Energy Department’s National Offshore Wind Strategy calls for 10 gigawatts of offshore wind-power capacity to be installed by 2020, the equivalent of about 10 nuclear reactors. There are no offshore turbines in operation in the U.S. now.

“The United States has tremendous untapped clean energy resources,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in the statement. The program “paves the way to a cleaner, more sustainable and more diverse domestic energy portfolio.”

The wind farms will be developed by Baryonyx Corp. in Texas; Fishermen’s Energy LLC in New Jersey; Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. in Ohio; Principle Power Inc. in Oregon; the University of Maine and Statoil ASA in Maine; and Dominion Resources Inc. in Virginia.

Copyright 2012 Bloomberg.

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