The backers of a two-turbine test project say they were blindsided by a recent decision to reopen terms of four-year-old contract.
The developer of the offshore wind demonstration will use bird-safe lighting and seasonal curtailment, among other methods.
Virginia has been slow to dip its toe into offshore wind energy, but advocates predict the industry is primed for a growth spurt over the next decade.
Clean energy advocates say offshore wind is not being taken seriously enough as an option amid discussions of transmission lines and natural gas pipelines.
University researchers say they have created the most detailed, accurate resource for mapping offshore wind potential in the Great Lakes, filling a void in what may still be a long process toward development.