A wind turbine Dominion Energy’s two turbine Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project. The wind farm, currently in its testing phase, is anticipated to be one of the first fully-permitted, operational wind project in U.S. federal waters, delivering 12-megawatt’s of clean energy to customers in Virginia. Photo: Dominion Energy

U.S. Announces Environmental Review of Dominion Energy’s Virginia Offshore Wind Farm

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1279
July 1, 2021

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will conduct an environmental review of Dominion Energy’s 2.6GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project (CVOW-C).

The project, to be located 23.5 nautical miles offshore Virginia, calls for the construction and operation of up to 205 turbines capable of generating up to 3,000 megawatts of electricity, as well as three offshore substations with one possible cable landfall location in Virginia Beach. Dominion Energy is in the process of constructing the first Jones Act-compliant wind turbine installation vessel, the first of its kind built in the U.S, to transport install the turbines at the wind farm.

Dominion Energy already operates a demonstration offshore wind project located near the proposed CVOW-C project location, consisting of two test turbines in federal waters off the coast of Virginia Beach. During development and construction, the CVOW-C project is estimated to generate an average of approximately 900 jobs from 2020-2026, with a peak of approximately 1,500 jobs in 2024 and 2025. During operations and maintenance, the CVOW-C project would support about 1,100 long-term jobs, BOEM said.

The energy produced would help Virginia reach its legislated goal of securing 5.2 GW of offshore energy by 2034.

BOEM said it plans to publish a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the Federal Register on July 2. This will open a 30-day public comment period.

“Building a domestic offshore wind supply chain is a key step needed to meet this administration’s goal of 30 GW by 2030,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “If approved, the CVOW-C project will represent another step forward to help the United States leverage existing manufacturing and workforce capabilities to grow a network of domestic suppliers.”

The environmental review is the second announced this week by BOEM, having previously announced a review Vineyard Wind, LLC for its Vineyard Wind South offshore wind project off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. If approved by BOEM, Vineyard Wind would be allowed to construct and operate an approximately 2,000 -2,300 megawatt wind energy facility, which would be developed in phases. Phase One of the project, called “Park City Wind,” would contribute to Connecticut’s mandate of 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, through Vineyard Wind’s 804 megawatt power purchase agreement with Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

Yesterday, a New Jersey utilities board approved two large offshore wind projects that combined will add over 2.6GW of offshore wind capacity to the state, marking the nation’s largest combined award to date.

“The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project and other planned developments show the enormous potential the growing offshore wind industry plays in America, not only providing clean energy but driving economic investment and creating jobs for American workers,” said Heather Zichal, CEO American Clean Power Association.

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