US-based Dominion Energy has filed an application with Virginia’s State Corporation Commission (SCC) seeking approval to build two 6MW turbines and grid infrastructure needed to connect Virginia’s first, $300m offshore wind power project to the coast.
Denmark-based energy company Ørsted, which was hired by Dominion Energy to build the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project (CVOW), said that a research vessel will conduct the final ocean floor mapping needed before construction can begin.
Dominion Energy chairman, president and CEO Thomas Farrell said that the announcement further affirms the company’s commitment to a new era of clean, renewable energy for the Commonwealth.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said: “The offshore wind demonstration project will provide critical information to stakeholders and will position Virginia as a leader as we work to attract job opportunities in the offshore wind supply chain and service industries.”
The project will be located 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach on 2,135 acres of federal waters leased by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.
The two 6MW turbines will be located in 80ft of water and rise over 550ft above the ocean’s surface. The facility is expected to generate emission-free energy for customers by December 2020.
The demonstration project will be the first to be constructed in federal waters through the approval process of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the country’s second commercial-scale offshore installation.
The first facility, established off the coast of Block Island, has been operational since 2015.
The Virginia project is expected to pave the way for the generation of an additional 2,000MW in the adjacent 112,000-acre wind energy lease area, enough to power nearly half a million homes.
Dominion Energy has leased the acreage for this facility from BOEM.
The project will be funded through existing base rates, enabled by the Grid Transformation & Security Act. Subject to regulatory approvals, onshore construction is expected to begin in 2019, followed by turbine installation and operation in 2020.
Ørsted is an offshore wind power developer with more than 1,000 offshore wind turbines installed and operating around the world.
Image: Dominion Energy president and CEO Thomas Farrell announces Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project at a press conference in Norfolk. Photo: Courtesy of Dominion Energy.