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Dominion Energy’s dedication to a clean environment continues to be reflected in renewable energy initiatives such as our Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project. It will be only the second offshore wind project in the nation and the first owned by an electric utility company. View a video.

 

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. View the news release.

wind turbine assembly

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.

Mariner Updates

Construction Updates

As of Summer 2020 approaches, onshore and offshore construction activities will near completion on the CVOW pilot project! View the news release.

Foundations for the two, 6-megawatt turbines were installed in May while the wind turbines are scheduled to be installed in June, 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. In addition to the 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.

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 in the fall of 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. View the news release.

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.
building a wind turbine

In September 2019, we filed an interconnection request with PJM, the regional transmission organization that coordinates the electrical grid in all or parts of 13 states and Washington, D.C., to bring online more than 2,600MW of offshore wind.

Pending regulatory approval, construction is scheduled to begin in 2024, and once construction is complete in 2026, the project will provide enough clean, renewable energy to serve more than 650,000 customers.

This will be the largest single offshore wind project in the nation and surveys are underway at the lease area. These surveys will provide the company with the geological, biological, and oceanographic data needed to support planning and construction in a manner that facilitates coexistence between the natural marine ecosystem and clean energy development. Ultimately, this data will support preparation of the project's Construction and Operations Plan to be submitted to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) later this year.

About the Project

The first phase of the CVOW project calls for the development of two 6-megawatt wind turbines on 2,135-acre site leased by the Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy. Dominion Energy has an agreement with DMME to build and operate the turbines there.

Those two turbines should be in operation by late 2020 and will lay the ground work for potential large-scale development in an 112,800-acre commercial wind site Dominion Energy has leased from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Dominion Energy will partner with Ørsted Energy based in Denmark on the two turbines. Ørsted energy is a recognized global leader in offshore wind development.

The project is an important first step toward offshore wind development for Virginia and the United States. It would be only the second offshore wind project in the nation and the first owned by an electric utility company. Along with clean energy it will provide Dominion Energy valuable experience in managing offshore wind resources.

Specifically¸ it will provide the critical operational, weather and environmental experience needed for the large scale development.

The CVOW project will build 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 done by VOWTAP is still applicable, include 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.

FAQs

sight line showing the curvature of the EarthWill the turbines be visible from shore?

The turbines will be located approximately 27 miles offshore. That distance and the curvature of the Earth will make it difficult to see the turbines clearly from shore.

If a barge and construction platform can be seen from shore, won’t the much taller turbines be highly visible once constructed?

No. The barge and construction platform will be located only about 0.6 miles off the coast from July through September 2019. The CVOW lease area where the two wind turbines will ultimately be built is located much further away, approximately 27 miles offshore. They will be difficult to see from shore at that distance.

How will the electricity be delivered to shore from the CVOW project?

We will bury a 34 kV distribution line in the ocean floor that will run from the turbines to a connection point to our system near Camp Pendleton.

How many homes will the two turbines installed in 2020 serve?

The 12 megawatts produced by the turbines will serve 3,000 customers.

What is the total potential of the Virginia offshore wind area?

Our PJM application outlines a proposal for a 2,640 MW offshore wind project in the commercial lease area, to be deployed in three phases of approximately 880 MW each. That would be the largest single offshore wind project in the nation and would generate enough clean energy to power 650,000 homes at peak wind.

Will this project interfere with commercial shipping lanes?

The commercial wind energy area was identified through an intergovernmental task force created by BOEM in 2009. The area was selected after extensive collaboration between the Commonwealth and stakeholders to avoid existing uses of the area, including ecological habitats, military training areas, marine vessel traffic, dredge disposal sites, and other areas of concern.

What is the timeline for the first phase of commercial-scale offshore wind?

The next step will be to begin ocean survey work in 2020. We will submit a Construction and Operations Plan by 2022, and the first block of wind turbines is expected to begin delivery of renewable energy in 2024.

How many additional phases will there be?

There will be two additional phases of wind turbines coming online. We expect the second phase (880 MW) to come online in 2025 and the third phase (880 MW) to come online in 2026.

How many turbines will be constructed in the commercial-scale buildout?

Over 70 turbines are expected to be installed as part of each 880 MW phase.

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