The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a total of $8.5 million in funding to 53 wind energy projects. The funding was announced by Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a videoconference to attendees at the WindPower 2009 Conference being held in Chicago this week. "Wind energy is one of our most promising renewable energy resources," Chu said in the announcement. "By continuing to make investments in renewable energy, we can cut our dependence on foreign oil and invest in a clean energy agenda that creates jobs and puts money back in the pockets of consumers." DOE officials say that the projects will begin to address market and deployment challenges identified in the department's 2008 report "20% Wind Energy by 2030." The projects were selected based on four topic areas: market acceptance, environmental impact, work force development, and distributed wind technology. Along with Washington, D.C., states that had projects funded are Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.