Ørsted Hires Geophysical Surveyor for Virginia Pilot Project

Ørsted has announced that the research vessel Gerry Bordelon will conduct final geophysical studies on the site of the proposed Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project.

Image for illustrative purposes only. Source: Ørsted

Gerry Bordelon, operated by the Louisiana-based Bordelon Marine, was chartered by US-based geophysical survey specialist TerraSond.

TerraSond will utilise the vessel to survey the proposed site for the project’s two turbines, searching for obstructions on the sea floor that could potentially impede construction activities. The research vessel will conduct the final ocean floor mapping needed before construction can begin, Dominion Energy said.

Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam toured the ocean-mapping vessel, which is temporarily docked at the maritime museum Nauticus in Norfolk, with business and government leaders.

The 12MW CVOW project is being jointly developed by Dominion Energy and Ørsted. Located in a federal lease area about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, the wind farm would be the first of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic.

Dominion Energy has now filed for State Corporation Commission (SCC) approval to proceed with construction of the demonstration project and the grid infrastructure.

The two-turbine facility, scheduled for commissioning in 2020, is expected to provide experience in permitting, design, installation, and operations that may be helpful for stakeholders including the military, commercial and recreational interests, and other governmental entities.

“This offshore wind demonstration project will provide critical information to stakeholders and will position Virginia as a leader as we work to attract job opportunities in the offshore wind supply chain and service industries,” Governor Northam said.

This research and development project will give the developers the operational, weather and environmental experience needed for large-scale development in the adjacent 112,800-acre site leased by Dominion Energy from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

Ørsted holds exclusive rights to discuss a strategic partnership with Dominion Energy about developing the commercial site based on the successful deployment of the pilot wind farm.

“This project will provide us vital experience in constructing an offshore wind project in the United States and serve as a stepping stone to a larger commercial-scale partnership between our companies in the future. We see the tremendous potential in the Mid-Atlantic for emission-free, renewable wind generation and we are excited to help the Commonwealth in reaping the benefits of wind power,” said Thomas Brostrøm, Ørsted’s North American President.

NOTE: The original article was updated on 9 August.