Dominion Energy Receives State Approval for Virginia Offshore Wind Farm
Dominion Energy has completed the penultimate stage of the permitting process to begin construction and operation of what is currently the largest planned offshore wind project in the United States. The Virginia Coastal Offshore Wind Project represents an investment of approximately $9.8 billion in clean energy and, expected to be completed in 2026, is seen as a model for the future development of the industry in the United States .
The Virginia State Corporation Commission approved the project last week. CSC’s final order affirms that the project meets all of Virginia’s statutory requirements for recovering user costs and issuing a certificate of public convenience and necessity for land infrastructure. The order also includes a performance requirement and granted approval for approximately 17 miles of new transmission lines and other onshore infrastructure needed to deliver clean, renewable offshore power to Virginia homes and businesses.
“We are very pleased that the commission has approved this important project which will benefit our customers. We are reviewing the details of the order, particularly the performance requirement,” said Robert Blue, president, president and CEO of Dominion Energy.
The plan calls for the construction of a 2.6 GW wind farm located 27 miles off Virginia Beach. When complete, Dominion Energy reports the project will generate enough clean, renewable energy to power up to 660,000 homes. The wind farm will consist of 176 wind turbines measuring just over 800 feet tall, three offshore substations to collect and bundle the energy, undersea cables to bring it ashore, and new infrastructure for terrestrial transmission to deliver energy to the wider electrical grid.
The two-test turbines became operational in October 2020 as the first offshore wind farm installed in federal waters and is the only project developed and owned by a power utility. Dominion submitted its construction and operating plan (COP) to the Federal Office of Ocean Energy Management in 2020 and expects to receive final project approval in 2023. Offshore construction is expected to begin in 2024.
To support the project and others in the offshore wind industry, Dominion Energy is building the first Jones Act-qualified offshore wind installation vessel in the United States. The 472-foot vessel, which is expected to cost around $500 million, is being built by Keppel AmFELS shipyard in Brownsville, Texas, and is expected to be delivered in late 2023. Dominion chartered the vessel to Ørsted and Eversource for their first projects in New England before the Charybdis moves to Virginia for the construction of the Coastal Virginia project.