State and federal officials will gather in Virginia Beach on Wednesday for an all-day conference that will examine establishing wind turbines off the Virginia coast.

Sixty environmentalists, governments officials and industrialists are scheduled to speak, including Maureen Matsen, deputy secretary of the state Department of Natural Resources; Chris Hart, offshore wind manager with the U.S. Department of Energy; and officials from Dominion Virginia Power, the largest energy provider in the state.

As the United States searches for ways to lessen its dependency on foreign oil, wind energy is getting a second look in states such as Virginia that had not embraced it.

Developers have looked at building turbines on the state’s western border. Advocates now say Virginia has what it takes to establish farms off the coast, though obstacles include the presence of the Navy and NASA.

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has touted his strong support for all types of energy, including offshore oil drilling, but environmentalists say he has not gone far enough in his support for wind.