Floating wind farm? Demo project in works for Oregon

COOS BAY, Ore. - The Department of Energy has committed $47 million over 4 years to develop floating wind farms off the U.S. coast.

The Oregon Coast could be an ideal spot for such energy farms.

"This is a tremendous opportunity, not only for our community but for the state and for the nation," said Rep. Caddy McKeown, D-Coos Day.

It would be the first of it's kind on the West Coast.

A demonstration project to include 5-direct wind turbines, floating in water of more than a 1,000-feet deep.

It's a technology so innovative, the Department of Energy announced it will match up to $47 million over the next 4 years to speed up the process.

"We're excited about it," said Kevin Banister, VP business development for Principle Power. "We think that overtime this could be an important part of the economic base for Coos Bay, but it's going to take time. You know we're hopeful that this project is the first step to getting us on that path."

It's estimated the West Coast has the capability to generate more than 75 percent of the nation's entire power generation capacity.

This project would be about 18 miles off the North Spit.

While you wouldn't be able to see them from land, they have the potential to generate a lot more than energy.