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Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind
Dominion Energy’s dedication to a clean environment continues to be reflected in renewable energy initiatives such as our CVOW project. It will be only the second offshore wind project in the nation and the first owned by an electric utility company.
It is also an important stepping stone toward commercial-scale offshore wind development, furthering Dominion Energy’s commitment to 3,000 megawatts of solar and wind energy under development or in operation by the beginning of 2022.
The CVOW project calls for development of two 6-megawatt wind turbines on a site leased by the Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy (DMME). Dominion Energy has an agreement with DMME to build and operate the turbines within the 2,135-acre site, which lies 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach.
On November 2, 2018 the Virginia State Corporation Commission approved the project and granted a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct and operate the associated Virginia Interconnect Facilities.
We have contracted with a global wind leader - Ørsted Energy of Denmark - for construction of the two turbines. And Dominion Energy has selected the L.E. Myers Company to perform onshore electrical design and construction.
The CVOW project builds on earlier work carried out under the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Assessment Project (VOWTAP), which was started five years ago in an effort to lower the cost of offshore wind and test new technologies.
Much of the work performed under VOWTAP is still applicable, including geophysical and geotechnical investigation of the sea floor for the turbine sites and export cable route, metocean studies including hurricane and breaking wave studies and seabed mobility studies.
CVOW Construction Updates
As of Summer 2019, onshore and offshore construction activities are underway!
In addition to the two turbines, the CVOW project calls for a power cable to bring the clean energy to land. It will be buried under the seabed for much of its length but will ultimately come ashore through a 1,000-meter conduit installed under the beach.
Virginia Beach residents and visitors may notice a barge and construction platform located offshore during the summer of 2019 – they will be stationed temporarily about 0.6 miles from land as part of the operation to install that conduit with minimal environmental impact.
Next year, construction of the CVOW project’s two turbines will begin when a vessel arrives from Europe bearing the foundation pieces. Once work on the turbine substructures is complete, this vessel will depart to pick up additional components.
Installation, commissioning, and testing of CVOW’s two turbines will continue during the summer once the vessel returns to the project site. Meanwhile, a group of smaller ships will oversee final preparations for the power cable – completing its trenching and burial and then connecting it to Dominion Energy’s onshore infrastructure.
Dominion Energy expects to finish all this work and begin harnessing offshore wind energy by late 2020.
Commercial Offshore Wind Plans
Along with clean energy, the CVOW project will provide Dominion Energy valuable experience in managing offshore wind resources. Specifically, it will provide critical permitting, design, installation, and operational experience as it is the first project to be installed in federal waters under the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) process.
This will further inform development for large-scale commercial wind deployment in the adjacent Virginia Wind Energy Area leased by Dominion Energy from BOEM. It will also help create the expertise and the necessary domestic supply chains that will ultimately lower the costs of offshore wind development.
The commercial lease area totals 112,800 acres and could support more than 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy. That’s enough to power 500,000 homes. Dominion Energy is currently planning offshore activities in 2020 to support development of required construction planning for the commercial project.
Between the CVOW project and commercial-scale development, Dominion Energy plans to invest up to $1.1 billion in offshore wind through 2023 (subject to regulatory approvals).