Dominion Energy announced Friday the successful instillation of the first offshore wind farm to be approved by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or BOEM, and installed in federal waters.
Once the two-turbine, 12-megawatt Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind pilot project built 27 miles off Virginia Beach is energized later this summer, the offshore wind farm will produce enough renewable energy at peak output to power 3,000 Virginia homes.
The second built in the United States, the offshore wind farm was completed on schedule despite the worldwide effects from the coronavirus pandemic, according to officials.
The experience from the pilot project will be applied to the proposed 2,600-megawatt commercial project set to begin construction in 2024. The largest announced offshore wind project in North America, according to Dominion Energy, will, when complete, provide enough renewable electricity to power up to 650,000 homes.
“The construction of these two turbines is a major milestone not only for offshore wind in Virginia but also for offshore wind in the United States,” Dominion Energy Chairman, President and CEO Thomas F. Farrell II said in a statement. “Clean energy jobs have the potential to serve as a catalyst to re-ignite the economy following the impacts of the pandemic and continue driving down carbon emissions.”
The pilot project was announced three years ago and received Virginia State Corporation Commission approval in November 2018. Onshore construction of the electrical interconnection facilities and the half-mile conduit that holds the final stretch of cable connecting the turbines 27 miles off the coast to a company substation near Camp Pendleton State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach, Virginia, began last summer and was completed earlier this year.
Offshore wind developer Ørsted North America Offshore is heading up the project. The Denmark-based company has invested in the Port of Virginia. The L. E. Myers Co. with members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers performed the onshore construction work.
“We are immensely proud of the work our teams and suppliers were able to complete under unprecedented circumstances,” said Thomas Brostrøm, CEO of Ørsted North America Offshore. “These two turbines are another monumental step for offshore wind in the U.S. The future remains bright for this new American industry.”
Customers will see no increase in rates for the pilot project under the provisions of the Grid Transformation and Security Act of 2018.