Dominion Energy has announced that the company has filed with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) the required Construction and Operations Plan (COP) to build the 2,640-megawatt Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project, the largest planned offshore wind farm in the United States.
“This is an important step in the process toward bringing commercial-scale offshore wind to the Commonwealth and shows Dominion Energy is committed to delivering the clean, renewable and reliable energy our customers expect from us,” said Joshua Bennett, Dominion Energy’s vice president of offshore wind. “We look forward to working with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as the CVOW commercial project moves through the permitting process.”
The COP includes information about the construction, operations and conceptual decommissioning plans for Dominion Energy’s proposed offshore wind farm to be installed within a 112,800-acre Commercial Lease Area located 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, which Dominion Energy obtained in 2013. Information about onshore and support facilities is included in the COP as well.
Through this filing, Dominion Energy shows, among other things, it designed and sited the CVOW commercial project in a manner that protects natural resources, the environment and human and wildlife health; uses the best available and safest technology; and does not unreasonably interfere with other uses of the Outer Continental Shelf, such as commercial and recreational fishing, commercial shipping lanes and military training maneuvers.
Data based on the results of the many surveys of the lease area – geophysical, geotechnical, biological, cultural, socioeconomic – are also included in the filing for BOEM’s review, which will take approximately two years to complete.
Offshore wind generation is a major component of Dominion Energy’s comprehensive clean energy strategy to meet standards mandated in the Virginia Clean Economy Act and to achieve the company’s net zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions commitment by 2050.
The company earlier this year completed the construction of CVOW’s first phase – the two turbine, 12-megawatt pilot project, which is located adjacent to the Commercial Lease Area. The two turbines are operational while the project undergoes BOEM’s technical review before officially entering service.
The company applied the valuable permitting, design and installation experience from the CVOW pilot project to its proposed commercial project. Pending approval by the State Corporation Commission, the CVOW commercial project is on track to commence construction in 2024, and upon completion in 2026, will provide enough renewable electricity to power up to 660,000 homes.
According to an economic impact study performed by Glen Allen-based Mangum Economics and commissioned and published by the Hampton Roads Alliance, it is estimated that the CVOW commercial project could create approximately 900 jobs and $143 million in economic impact annually during construction and 1,100 jobs and almost $210 million in economic impact annually during operation of the turbines.
Similarly, during construction, the 2.6-gigawatt CVOW commercial project is estimated to generate nearly $5 million per year in local and state tax revenue which increases to almost $11 million annually once the project is commissioned and operational.