Virginia to Set Up Offshore Wind Office, Invest in Portsmouth Marine Terminal

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Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam has proposed a budget that creates this US state’s first Office of Offshore Wind.

The budget also invests up to USD 40 million to upgrade the Portsmouth Marine Terminal, to secure new investments in the offshore wind supply chain.

These investments are aimed at helping Virginia achieve 2,500MW of energy generated from offshore wind by 2026, the announcement said.

“The proposed investments in clean energy financing and the first office of offshore wind will create new business opportunities, expand customer access to renewable energy, and spark high-demand jobs of the 21st century,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball.

“Likewise, the investments at Portsmouth Marine Terminal will enable the Commonwealth to attract new economic investment from the offshore wind industry, which is pivotal as we work to diversify the economy in Hampton Roads.”

In total, the proposed budget includes USD 733 million in new funding for the environment and clean energy—including a USD 500 million capital investment.

“In Virginia, we are proving that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand-in-hand—and having both is what makes our Commonwealth such a great place to live, work, and play,” said Governor Northam.

“These significant investments in environmental protection, environmental justice, clean energy, and clean water will combat climate change and ensure we maintain our high quality of life here in Virginia.”

Under the recently issued Executive Order Forty-Three, up to 2.5GW of offshore wind capacity will be developed off Virginia on an accelerated timeline by 2026. The state is working with the local utility Dominion Energy and the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to submit the Construction and Operation Plan (COP) by 2021, with construction beginning by 2024.

Dominion Energy and Ørsted are currently constructing Virginia’s first offshore wind project – the 12MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) demonstration wind farm off Virginia Beach. The wind farm is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2020.

The two-turbine project is expected to provide the operational, weather, and environmental experience needed for large-scale development in Dominion Energy’s adjacent 112,800ha lease site, which has the capacity to generate up to 2GW of offshore wind if fully developed.

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