The current population of the state of Virginia is approximately 8.57 million people. In April 2019, state utilities used natural gas (53.0%), nuclear energy (37.3%), renewable energy (8.0%) and coal (1.7%) to generate electricity. Hydropower, biomass and solar are the primary sources of renewable energy in Virginia.
Virginia’s reliance on inexpensive natural gas offsets the high cost of nuclear energy, which contributes to state’s below average electricity costs. In April 2019, the average cost of electricity in Virginia was U.S. 12.4 ¢ per kWh, which is the 26th most expensive state in the United States. The average price of electricity in the United States is 13.3 ¢ per kWh.
Concerns over climate change have prompted state legislators to develop the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan, which is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower energy consumption. The Virginia General Assembly also created the Virginia Offshore Wind Energy Development Authority to facilitate and support the development of the offshore wind industry and wind-powered electric energy facilities located off Virginia’s coast.
Dominion Energy has commenced construction on the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project. The 12 MW capacity offshore wind project is being jointly developed by Dominion Energy and Ørsted. The CVOW is located approximately 27 miles off the coastal city of Virginia Beach and is scheduled to commence operation in 2020.
Dominion Energy forecasts it will be investing $1.1 billion through 2023 in offshore wind energy projects along the east coast of the United States. The company anticipate that over 2,000 MW of offshore wind projects will be built off the coast of Virginia by 2025.
Dominion Energy, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia supplies electricity to customers in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Dominion also has power generation facilities in Indiana, Illinois, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Ørsted, headquartered in Fredericia, Denmark develops, constructs and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, bioenergy plants and innovative waste-to-energy systems.
States along the eastern seaboard are in a race to develop offshore wind energy. Why? Economics pure and simple. Numerous, major offshore wind projects are being planned from Maine to Virginia. States are looking for their ports to become the major operational hubs to support the new offshore wind farms. The offshore wind farms will also replace outdated, expensive coal-fueled power plants.
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