The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has published an environmental assessment (EA) for a 12 MW offshore wind pilot project off the coast of Virginia.
The Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP) is a partnership between utility company Dominion and the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. The partners propose to build two 6 MW turbines 24 nautical miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, adjacent to the Virginia commercial lease area that Dominion won in a 2013 federal auction. Dominion has said that the lessons learned from VOWTAP will help the company develop a project up to 2 GW at the lease area in the future.
BOEM says its EA considers reasonably foreseeable environmental and socioeconomic consequences associated with the approval of the offshore wind research activities. The agency will consider public comments on the EA before determining whether to issue a Finding of No Significant Impact or conduct additional analyses under the National Environmental Policy Act.
The EA is available for a 30-day comment period, which ends on Jan. 2, 2015. More information can be found here.