Dominion Completes Virginia Offshore Pilot Project


Dominion Energy has successfully completed the two turbine, 12 MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project 27 miles off Virginia Beach. 

The first offshore wind farm to be approved by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and installed in federal waters, and second constructed in the U.S., was built safely and on schedule despite the worldwide impact from the coronavirus pandemic. The turbines will now undergo acceptance testing before being energized later this summer.

Dominion Energy will apply the valuable permitting, design, installation and operations experience from the pilot project to its proposed 2,600 MW commercial project. That project, which is the largest announced offshore wind project in North America, is on track to commence construction in 2024.

Several Virginia-based companies contributed to the CVOW pilot project, and Dominion Energy remains committed to creating the expertise to position Hampton Roads to be a supply chain hub for U.S. offshore wind efforts and create thousands of clean energy jobs in Virginia. 

“The construction of these two turbines is a major milestone not only for offshore wind in Virginia but also for offshore wind in the U.S.,” says Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and CEO of Dominion Energy. 

“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,” he adds.

Offshore wind generation is a vital part of Dominion Energy’s comprehensive clean energy strategy to meet standards outlined in the Virginia Clean Economy Act and to achieve the company’s net-zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions commitment by 2050.

Ørsted, the largest offshore wind developer in the world, is serving as the offshore engineering, procurement and construction lead for the project. The L. E. Myers Co., with members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, performed the onshore construction work.

The pilot project was first 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 which holds the final stretch of cable connecting the turbines 27 miles off the coast to a company substation near Camp Pendleton commenced last summer and was completed earlier this year.

Customers will see no increase in rates for the pilot project under the provisions of the Grid Transformation and Security Act of 2018. 

Survey and geotechnical work continue on Dominion Energy’s 2.6 GW full-scale wind development. These surveys will support the development of the project’s construction and operations plan to be submitted to BOEM later this year. Dominion Energy named Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) its preferred wind turbine supplier for the project earlier this year and SGRE announced the project will use its new SG 14-222 DD turbine. In total, approximately 180 of the more than 800-foot-tall wind turbines are expected to be deployed in the project.

Photo: Dominion Energy’s CVOW pilot project

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