2.6 GW US Offshore Wind Project Homeports in Virginia

The Port of Virginia has reached an agreement to lease a portion of the Portsmouth Marine Terminal to Dominion Energy for the development of the 2.6 GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project.

Under the agreement, Dominion Energy will use 72 acres of the deep-water, multi-use marine cargo Portsmouth Marine Terminal as a staging and pre-assembly area for the foundations and turbines that will be installed 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach.

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”This location at the Port of Virginia is second to none,” said chair, president and CEO of Dominion Energy Robert M. Blue.

”It has deep water access, no overhead restrictions, a strong, experienced maritime workforce and sufficient space for these large wind infrastructure components. It is perfectly situated to serve the Virginia offshore wind project and grow the domestic supply chain needed to complete other offshore wind projects in the United States.”

The lease term is ten years—valued at nearly USD 4.4 million annually—and includes an option for two five-year renewals.

The lease agreement is said to include significant upgrades to ensure the terminal can handle the weight of the large components that will be deployed to build the offshore wind turbines.

”This announcement is yet another milestone toward making Virginia the national leader in offshore wind power,” said Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam.

”The Commonwealth and Dominion Energy are standing together to promote clean energy, reduce carbon emissions, create jobs, and build a new American industry on the East Coast of the United States.”

The agreement comes 18 months after Governor Northam signed into law the Virginia Clean Economy Act which sets a target of producing at least 5,200 MW of energy through offshore wind by 2034, and a target of achieving 100 per cent carbon-free energy production by 2045.

Negotiations accelerated in July, when the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners directed Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the VPA, to finalize the lease negotiation.

”For the last several years it has been known that The Port of Virginia, and specifically the Portsmouth Marine Terminal, is positioned to be the leading Mid-Atlantic logistics hub for the offshore wind industry,” said Port of Virginia CEO Stephen Edwards.

”This agreement capitalizes on PMT’s potential and solidifies Virginia’s place as the leader in this growing and competitive field. This port is ready to support Dominion Energy and all of the businesses and jobs that will ensure the success of offshore wind in Virginia.”

Offshore wind is a growing industry in the United States, backed by the Biden Administration’s target of 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

Presently, Dominion Energy’s two-turbine pilot project is operating off of the coast of Virginia Beach.

Last month, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued a Notice of Intent for the full commercial project.

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The Notice of Intent triggers a federal review of the project and preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement, which will take about two years.

Photo: Dominion Energy/Illustration