Virginia’s first offshore wind project gets underway

Virginia’s first offshore wind project gets underway
Two massive turbines will be erected by Danish company Ørsted Energy 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. (Source: Dominion Energy)

Virginia’s first offshore wind energy project began construction Monday morning at an unexpected place: onshore.

Eventually, two massive turbines will be erected by Danish company Ørsted Energy 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach as part of Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project. But the July 1 groundbreaking for the project focused on a more humble — and terrestrial — phase of the effort: the installation of a half-mile-long conduit needed to bring the energy generated by those turbines to the company’s Birdneck Substation, which sits near Camp Pendleton.

A pilot for a potentially much larger project, the CVOW is expected to generate 12 megawatts of energy, enough to power roughly 3,000 homes. If it proves successful, Dominion will have the ability to expand its offshore operations to produce 2,000 megawatts of energy on the site, which is leased from the federal government.

Dominion Energy chairman, president and CEO Tom Farrell called the project “a sign of our commitment to bring more renewable energy to our customers,” while Gov. Ralph Northam praised it as “another powerful example of the Commonwealth’s position as a leader in renewable energy.”

The Virginia Mercury is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering Virginia government and policy.