Southwest Va. project will help manufacturers enter wind energy supply chain
InvestSWVA launches Project Veer to connect equipment manufacturers with partners
Public-private campaign InvestSWVA announced Tuesday the launch of an economic development initiative designed to help Southwest Virginia manufacturers find entry points in the supply chain for wind energy equipment components.
The initiative, called Project Veer, will connect Southwest Virginia manufacturers with industry experts, public sector partners, the Hampton Roads Alliance, Dominion Energy Inc., Appalachian Power and GO Virginia Region One’s economic and workforce development organizations.
Construction on Dominion’s 2.6-gigawatt Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project will begin in 2024. Dominion plans to build the 180 wind-turbine farm 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. Two turbines have been built as pilots.
“Dominion Energy Virginia is actively engaging business communities to bring offshore wind supply chain economic opportunities to all regions of the commonwealth,” John Larson, Dominion Energy director of public policy and economic development, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Project Veer to tap into the strong manufacturing legacy of Southwest Virginia to help the region capitalize on the growing wind energy industry.”
Project Veer builds on recommendations from a study conducted by the Hampton Roads Alliance that exposed gaps in the supply chain and defined how manufacturers could fill them. The alliance worked with Aberdeen, Scotland-based energy consulting firm Xodus Group Ltd., which is part of the project team, and Carlsbad, California-based BW Research Partnership to assess the offshore wind supply chain and conduct a gap analysis for the Hampton Roads metropolitan area and Southern Virginia.
“Renewable energy developers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) need partners who produce quality components and deliver them on time,” Will Payne, managing partner of Coalfield Strategies and project lead for InvestSWVA, said in a statement. “We have partners who fit this bill in Virginia’s Southwest. Now we have some infrastructure to help them explore their entry into the burgeoning wind energy market, while leveraging the energy industry experience many of them already possess.”
The project received funding from the GO Virginia Region One Council, the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and Coalfield Strategies.
InvestSWVA is a public-private business research, attract and marketing campaign launched under the umbrella of the Virginia Tobacco Revitalization Commission, a 28-member body created by the General assembly in 1999 to promote economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities using proceeds of the national tobacco settlement.