Dominion Energy and Port of Va. reach lease agreement for offshore wind project
Dominion will lease 72 acres of the Portsmouth Marine Terminal as a staging area to build the wind turbines
Dominion Energy Inc. and the Port of Virginia reached an agreement allowing Dominion to lease 72 acres of the Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday.
Dominion Energy will use its portion of the 287-acre terminal, one of the Port of Virginia’s two multiuse terminals in the Norfolk Harbor, as a staging and pre-assembly area for the foundations and 800-foot wind turbines that will be installed in its offshore wind project.
“This location at the Port of Virginia is second to none,” Robert M. Blue, chair, president and CEO of Dominion Energy, said in a statement. “It has deep water access, no overhead restrictions, a strong, experienced maritime workforce and sufficient space for these large wind infrastructure components. It is perfectly situated to serve the Virginia offshore wind project and grow the domestic supply chain needed to complete other offshore wind projects in the United States.”
The lease term is 10 years, valued at nearly $4.4 million annually, and has an option for two five-year renewals.
Dominion’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project will install up to 180 wind turbines 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, and when completed in 2026 will generate 2,640 megawatts, enough to power up to 660,000 homes during peak winds. Construction is expected to begin in 2026. Once fully built, the project is expected to create 1,100 jobs and almost $210 million in annual economic impact.
Currently, Dominion Energy has a two-turbine, 12-megawatt, $300 million pilot project running off the coast of Virginia Beach.
The CVOW will help Virginia reach its target, codified in the Virginia Clean Economy Act, of having 100% carbon-free energy production by 2045, and Dominion Energy’s goal of net zero carbon and methane emissions by 2050. President Joe Biden’s administration has set a 2030 target to have installed 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind power capacity.
Northam and Blue made the announcement at the Business Network for Offshore Wind’s International Partnering Forum at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.
“This announcement is yet another milestone toward making Virginia the national leader in offshore wind power,” Northam said in a statement. “The commonwealth and Dominion Energy are standing together to promote clean energy, reduce carbon emissions, create jobs and build a new American industry on the East Coast of the United States.”
In December 2020, Dominion Energy filed the required construction and operations plan (COP) with the U.S. Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. In July, the bureau issued the Notice of Intent for the full CVOW project, which triggers a federal review of the project and preparation of an environmental impact statement that will take about two years. Dominion Energy expects to file with the Virginia State Corporation Commission in late 2021.
Dominion Energy’s vessel to transport workers and components for the farm, named Charybdis, is in construction and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.