The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed its environmental review of Dominion Energy’s proposed Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project.
The 2.6-gigawatt (GW) project is the largest offshore wind farm planned in the United States and could potentially power 660,000 homes with renewable energy. It will be located in a commercial lease area approximately 23.5 nautical miles from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and consist of 176 14.7-megawatt wind turbines and three offshore substations.
“The completion of our environmental review marks another step towards a clean energy future—one that benefits communities and co-exists with other ocean users,”?said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein.
The final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed project will be available on BOEM’s website. The EIS analyzes potential environmental impacts and the Construction and Operations Plan.
BOEM intends to make a decision on project approval in the fall.
BOEM published a draft EIS and held public meetings to gather feedback, receiving over 50 comments from various stakeholders. In response to the comments, BOEM developed a preferred alternative with fewer turbines to minimize impacts on navigation and fish habitats while meeting Virginia’s energy needs.
Dominion Energy says the CVOW project remains on schedule and on budget with construction expected to start in early 2024 and conclude in later 2026. Dominion Energy currently operates a two-turbine pilot project at the site of CVOW project.
“The completion of CVOW’s environmental review is another significant milestone to keep the project on time and on budget. Regulated offshore wind has many benefits for our customers and local economies – it’s fuel free, emissions free and diversifies our fuel mix to maintain the reliability of the grid,” said Bob Blue, Dominion Energy’s chair, president and chief executive officer. “Today’s announcement reinforces the confidence that the company, our vendors and our suppliers have in our project’s completion, providing further motivation to maintain focus on delivering on time and on budget knowing we and our government partners continue to meet critical milestones.
As part of Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, BOEM is on track to complete environmental reviews for at least 16 commercial construction and operation plans (COP) for offshore wind energy facilities by 2025, representing more than 27 gigawatts of clean energy. So far, Department of the Interior has approved four commercial-scale, offshore wind energy projects off Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.
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