Dominion offshore wind turbines complete reliability testing
Turbines will be able to provide electricity to up to 3K homes
Richmond-based Dominion Energy Inc. announced Wednesday that its two turbine, 12-megawatt, $300 million Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project, located 27 miles off the Virginia Beach coastline, has successfully completed reliability testing.
Dominion, the first U.S. electric utility company to install an offshore wind farm, began construction on the $300 million project in June, and the turbines were installed and tested this summer. Ørsted served as the offshore engineering, procurement and construction lead, and the L.E. Myers Co. with members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, performed onshore construction work. The turbines are capable of providing enough electricity to power as many as 3,000 homes, according to Dominion.
The project is the first offshore wind farm approved by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and installed in federal waters, and the second offshore wind farm constructed in the United States.
The CVOW pilot project is the first stage in Dominion’s plan to build the largest offshore wind farm in the nation, erecting 180 to 190 wind turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach by 2026. When complete, the $7.8 billion project will be capable of generating 2,600 megawatts of zero-carbon electricity, enough to power 650,000 homes during peak winds.
“This is a monumental day for the commonwealth and the burgeoning offshore wind industry in America, as CVOW is ready to deliver clean, renewable energy to our Virginia customers,” Joshua Bennett, Dominion Energy vice president of offshore wind, said in a statement. “Our team has worked diligently with key stakeholders and regulators while safely navigating through the coronavirus pandemic to complete this vitally important project that is a key step to reducing carbon emissions.”
BOEM is expected to complete a technical review of the project by the end of the year. The turbines will continue to operate during the review process.
Construction on Dominion’s proposed offshore wind farm expansion will create an estimated 900 jobs, according to an economic impact analysis conducted by Henrico County-based Mangum Economics and released by the Hampton Roads Alliance. And after manufacturing and construction are completed, it’s estimated that the continued operation of the project will create 1,100 direct and indirect jobs across the state. Jobs sectors would include engineering, wind technology, marine maintenance, logistics, construction, real estate, home improvement, hospitality and health care. The project is projected to generate more than $209 million in economic activity and nearly $6 million in local tax revenue for Hampton Roads.
Dominion customers will not see a rate increase for the pilot project under Grid Transformation and Security Act of 2018 provisions, according to the utility. Dominion has more than 7 million customers in 20 states and has a goal to achieve net zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions from its power generation and gas infrastructure operations by 2050.