Virginia offshore wind farm takes another step forward

The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project has taken another step forward in its quest to, eventually, generate enough clean energy to power 660,000 homes.

Dominion Energy submitted construction plans for the 2.6-gigawatt project with the Virginia State Corporation Commission for approval. The step builds on recent announcements that Siemens Gamesa will build the U.S.'s first blade manufacturing facility at the Port of Virginia to support the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, as well as other projects along the east coast, and that Dominion Energy has invested in the first and only U.S. flagged offshore wind turbine installation vessel.

"In addition to solar, storage and nuclear, offshore wind is a key component of our strategy and a game-changer for the Hampton Roads economy," said Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy Chair, President and CEO. "CVOW is making Virginia the hub for this new industry.  Virginia will host the first offshore wind turbine blade factory in the United States and be the home port for the only Jones Act compliant offshore wind installation vessel."

The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project is currently operating as a two-turbine test pilot 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach and is expected to be completed in 2026. Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind is the largest offshore wind project in development in the U.S.

Dominion Energy, Ørsted and Eversource Reach Deal on Contract to Charter Offshore Wind Turbine Installation Vessel (Courtesy: Dominion Energy)

DEME Offshore US lands Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind installation contract

DEME Offshore US, meanwhile, announced Friday that the company has secured a $1.1 billion balance of plant contract from Dominion Energy for construction of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project in consortium with Prysmian. The total contract is valued at, at least, $1.9 billion.

The contract is the largest offshore wind installation contract ever awarded in the U.S., according to DEME. DEME will provide transportation and installation of 176 monopile transition piece foundations, three offshore substations, scour protection, and the supply and installation of export and inter-array submarine cable systems.

DEME Offshore will oversee the complete offshore installation works for the foundations, substations, infield cables, as well as part of the export cables. For the fulfillment of the project, DEME Offshore entered into a consortium with Prysmian, the world leader in underwater energy cable systems.

“DEME Offshore brings valuable industry knowledge and years of experience to our Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project,” said Joshua Bennett, Dominion Energy vice president of offshore wind. “We look forward to working with DEME Offshore to advance offshore wind off the coast of Virginia as we lead the Commonwealth’s clean-energy transition.”

The Biden administration set a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, a goal industry experts will be difficult to achieve given supply chain challenges and the immaturity of the U.S. offshore wind market. Last year, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed into law the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which sets a goal of producing at least 5,200 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2034. The law set a target of 2045 for the commonwealth to achieve 100% carbon-free energy production.

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John Engel is the Content Director for Renewable Energy World. For the past decade, John has worked as a journalist across various mediums -- print, digital, radio, and television -- covering sports, news, and politics. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife, Malia. Have a story idea or a pitch for Renewable Energy World? Email John at john.engel@clarionevents.com.

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