Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has signed the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA).
The act passed in the state senate and the house of delegates in March. This legislation paves the way for the expansion of offshore wind, solar, onshore wind and energy storage.
The VCEA calls for 73% or more of the state’s electricity to come from clean energy by 2035, achieving a 100% goal by 2050. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Virginia generated only 7% of its electricity from renewable sources as of 2018.
To boost Virginia’s renewable energy production, initial milestones in the governor’s plan include generating 2,500 MW of offshore wind energy by 2026, part of the overall 5.2 GW by 2034, as well as 3,000 MW of solar and land-based wind by 2022.
“Northam is boldly boosting offshore wind as a new source of clean energy and well-paying jobs for Virginia,” says Liz Burdock, president and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind.
“Offshore wind is a key part of meeting the state’s goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 – that is something to be applauded and I hope replicated in other states,” she adds.
In fulfillment of the offshore wind portion, Dominion Energy is developing what could be the largest offshore wind project in the country. The $7.8 billion project would place 220 turbines 27 miles off Virginia Beach. Dominion aims to bring the project online by 2026.
Photo: Virginia Governor Ralph Northam