A wind turbine Dominion Energy’s two turbine Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project. Photo: Dominion Energy

Largest Offshore Wind Farm in U.S. Wins State Approval

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 9565
August 8, 2022

The State of Virginia has given the go-ahead for Dominion Energy’s 2.6-gigawatt (GW) Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) farm, the largest offshore wind project currently planned for U.S. waters.

CVOW will consist of 176 wind turbines to be constructed 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, generating enough energy to power up to 660,000 homes starting in 2026.

The project has now received the approval of the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), affirming the project meets all Virginia statutory requirements for rider cost recovery and the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the onshore infrastructure. The order also includes a performance requirement but does not outline the details.

“Our customers expect reliable, affordable energy, and offshore wind is key for delivering on that mission. We are very pleased that the commission has approved this important project that will benefit our customers. We are reviewing the specifics of the order, particularly the performance requirement,” said Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy Chair, President, and CEO.

CVOW represents a capital investment of approximately $9.8 billion and is estimated to save Virginia customers more than $3 billion during its first 10 years in operation. However, due to rising commodity prices including fuel, those savings could nearly double to almost $6 billion.

In its final order, the SCC stated: “In so finding that these costs must be recovered from customers, the Commission is also keenly aware of the ongoing rise in gas prices, inflation, and other economic pressures that are impacting all utility customers. This is a prescriptive statute, and we applied it based on the record in this case.”

As part of its order, the SCC granted approval for approximately 17 miles of new transmission lines and other onshore infrastructure needed to deliver energy to homes and businesses across the state.

The first phase of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project has been operational since Fall 2020 and consists of two test turbines generating 12 megawatts. It’s one of two offshore wind farms currently in the United States.

To help construct this second phase, knowny officially as CVOW-C, Dominion Energy is in the process of constructing the first Jones Act-compliant wind turbine installation vessel. Federally, the project is under environmental review by the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

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