Offshore Wind For The “Old Dominion” State

The current population of the “Old Dominion State,” Virginia is estimated to be 8.58 million people. In January 2019, state utilities used natural gas (58.0%), nuclear (30.6%), renewable energy (6.8%) and coal (4.6%) to generate electricity. Hydropower and biomass are the primary sources of renewable energy in Virginia.

Concerns over global warming and climate change have prompted state leaders to begin the move from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The 2018 Virginia Energy Plan established the following for key areas to transition the state to a new, renewable energy economy:

1. Diversify Virginia’s economy by strategically growing the energy sector.

2. Innovate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower energy consumption throughout the Commonwealth.

3. Strengthen Virginia’s business climate by investing in reliable and resilient energy infrastructure.

4. Prepare Virginia’s workforce to drive the energy economy into the future.

Europe has been developing major offshore wind projects for over a decade. The first offshore wind farm in the United States commenced operation in December 2017 off the coast of Rhode Island. Construction has begun on America’s second offshore wind farm off the coast of Virginia.

Dominion Energy and Ørsted are co-developing the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW), which is located approximately 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The 12 MW offshore wind farm consist of two Siemens Gamesa SWT-6.0-154 turbines. CVOW is estimated to cost $300 million and is forecast to commence operations in December 2020.

Dominion Energy is an electricity and natural gas utility company, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. The company has energy and power operations in Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. Ørsted is a multinational power company, headquartered in Fredericia, Denmark. Ørsted is the largest offshore wind farm company in the world.

Most of the states along the eastern sea board are actively pursuing offshore wind projects to replace fossil fueled power plants. States along the eastern sea board are positioning to become the future offshore wind farm operational centers. The CVOW provides Virginia the opportunity to become the offshore wind farm operation center for the area from South Carolina to Maryland.

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