The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Second US Offshore Wind Lease Goes to Dominion

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has held its second auction of renewable energy in U.S. federal waters, targeting offshore wind energy in about 112,000 acres off the Virginia coast. The winner: Dominion Virginia Power (Virginia Electric and Power Company), which came out on top after six rounds of bids and $1.6 million.

The area in question is about 23 nautical miles from the Virginia Beach coastline in roughly 30-meter depths, with potential wind generation exceeding 2 GW. The area comprises 19 full blocks and 13 sub-blocks on the Outer Continental Shelf, identified to avoid various areas of concern including ecological habitats and shoals, military training areas, marine vessel traffic, and a dredge disposal site.

Apparently only two bidders, Dominion and reportedly Apex Clean Energy, participated in yesterday's auction even though eight companies had been deemed "legally, technically and financially qualified" by the Department of Interior (DOI): Apex, Energy Management, EDF Renewable Development, Fisherman's Energy, Iberdrola Renewables, Sea Breeze Energy, and Orisol Energy. Apex's offshore wind plans for the Virginia coast, its Hampton Roads project, eyes up to 2 GW of capacity.

Map of Wind Energy Area Offshore Virginia. (Credit: BOEM)


In the inaugural auction of renewable energy in U.S. federal waters, held July 31, Deepwater Wind New England paid out about $3.8 million after 11 rounds of bidding, winning rights to develop on two parcels spanning 164,000 acres off the Rhode Island and Massachusetts coasts with combined potential of nearly 3.4 GW of wind generation.

Dominion envisions an offshore wind project size in line with the BOEM's 2-GW site capability estimate, likely built in phases, explained Jim Norvelle, director of media relations for Dominion, in an e-mail exchange. The clock now starts for Dominion on a number of deadlines: six months to submit a site assessment plan, a year to submit a constructions and operations survey plan, three years to do geophysical surveys, and five years to submit the full construction & operations plan, with a 33-year operational lifetime. The BOEM's approval of that final plan has no official timeline but it could take two years, and initial turbine installation might not happen for 10 years, Norvelle suggested, citing challenges in offshore wind including no domestic infrastructure and "the things that we don't know yet but may discover." (Note that Deepwind is planning to install turbines as early as 2017 with operations by 2018.) Dominion also will pay annual rental of $3/acre (roughly $338K) up to the commercial operation date.

The company is already developing one of a handful of U.S. offshore wind demonstration projects competing for Department of Energy (DOE) funding: the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP), which will evaluate different technologies and techniques for foundations, installation, and transmission. VOWTAP is adjacent to this new offshore wind lease site but they are two separate projects, Norvelle noted, although the company likely will apply some of the information it gets from the VOWTAP project such as weather data.

Norvelle also pointed out that the company's existing transmission system in the Hampton Roads area could accommodate any capacity coming from the offshore project, utilizing ocean substations and perhaps using floating substations to pipe the power ashore. "Virginia has a robust onshore transmission grid capable of integration up to 4,500 MW of offshore wind generation," he said. "We believe the added cost of a line to export power north is unnecessary and our customers are better served bringing the offshore generation to land via direct transmission to our onshore grid." Dominion has been a vocal opponent to the proposed Atlantic Wind Connection offshore transmission efforts.

Dominion isn't done with offshore wind in the MidAtlantic region. The company is among several groups that have formally expressed their interest to the BOEM for identified offshore wind lease sites in North Carolina, and auctioning is expected to take place by the end of 2013, or early 2014. Dominion, which has 120,000 customers in that state, is targeting areas off the Outer Banks near its existing onshore transmission system, though Norvelle said it would probably connect to the company's Virginia transmission system.

Read more wind energy news here.

Lead image: Wooden gavel and dollars, via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Global Renewable Energy Roundup: China, Kenya, Turkey, India Seeking More Renewables

Bloomberg News Editors China is being encouraged by three industry groups to double the nation’s solar-power goal for 2020 to make up for sh...

With Vast Amounts of Geothermal, Wind and Hydropower, Why No Solar In New Zealand?

James Ellsmoor, Contributor New Zealand has built an international brand on environmentalism and the great outdoors. So it is unsurprising that t...

GE low wind turbines make debut in France

Kelvin Ross

A new wind farm in France will be the first in the country to deploy GE’s 2.75-120 wind turbines.

Unlikely Allies in North Carolina Clean-Energy Fight

Mark Drajem, Bloomberg With North Carolina’s renewable energy mandate under assault from Republican legislators, green groups seeking to sav...

PRESS RELEASES

20 days to GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has announced that it is only 20 days to go to t...

Canadian Solar Announces Partnership in 200 MW Tranquility Solar Power Project

Recurrent Energy signed an agreement with Southern Power to partner on the Tranquility ...

AWS Truepower Announces Major Expansion of its Due Diligence Team in Response to Growing Market Demand

AWS Truepower, an international leader in wind and solar energy consulting and engineer...

Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ v3 Continues to (R)evolutionize at SPI

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) prepares to showcase its recently launched tracking syst...

FEATURED BLOGS

NATiVE Recognized for Excellence at 2015 Greater Austin Business Awards

NATiVE Recognized for Excellence at 2015 Greater Austin Business Awards NEWS RELEASE AUSTIN, Texas – Aug. 27...

Solar Energy Means Jobs, Savings, and a Low-Cost Future [infographic]

There are a lot of utility-sponsored legislative and regulatory attacks on solar energy lately, and we put together t...

How To Get People To Do Stuff

It’s no secret that psychology and sales go hand in hand. If you understand the principles of human psychology ...

Get In The Groove

When we talk about strategies for boosting productivity, we often overlook the fact certain projects lend themselves ...

FINANCIAL NEWS

Jim is Contributing Editor for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, covering the solar and wind beats. He previously was associate editor for Solid State Technology and Photovoltaics World, and has covered semiconductor manufacturing and related industries, ...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

Distributed Wind Energy Workshop

Description: Distributed wind energy is electricity that is produced for...

2015 AREDAY Summit

The 12th Annual AREDAY Summit, August 8-13th in Snowmass Colorado. Engag...

COMPANY BLOGS

Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Koch Professor drops his Koch title, still makes same errors plus s...

The Koch Professor’s title isn’t the only thing that’s...

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is proud of its members for ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS