Va. offshore wind project would total more than 2,600 MW

Dominion Energy is proposing what would be the largest offshore wind development in the U.S. totaling more than 2,600 megawatts.

The company filed an application with the PJM Interconnection, the regional transmission organization that coordinates the electrical grid in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia, to interconnect the proposed turbines to the transmission grid, Dominion said on Sept. 19.

If approved, the project would be located in the 112,800 acres Dominion Energy currently is leasing from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. Following the filing with PJM, ocean survey work is expected to begin in 2020 and a construction and operations plan will be submitted in 2022.

Building on an expected successful deployment of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project in 2020, Dominion Energy plans to move forward with its commercial offshore wind project in three phases, each totaling 880 megawatts.

The first phase of the buildout will support initial generation of wind energy by 2024. Additional phases will come online in 2025 and 2026, totaling more than 2,600-MW of energy.

The company began construction in June on the 12-MW CVOW project, which is the first fully permitted wind project in U.S. federal waters.

Dominion Energy said it will leverage key learnings from the permitting, design and development of that project as it goes through a similar process for commercial offshore wind development.

Virginia governor signs energy legislation

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam recently signed an executive order that lays out Virginia’s objectives for statewide energy production, which includes the goal that by 2030, 30 percent of Virginia’s electric system will be powered by renewable energy resources and by 2050, 100 percent of Virginia’s electricity will be produced from carbon-free sources such as wind, solar and nuclear.

The path forward includes ensuring at least 3,000 MW of solar and onshore wind are under development by 2022, and that up to 2,500 MW of offshore wind are fully developed on an accelerated timeline by 2026.

The executive order directs the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, in consultation with the state’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade, the Secretary of Natural Resources, and the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, to develop a plan of action to meet these renewable energy goals. The plan will also address issues related to energy storage, energy efficiency, equity, and environmental justice.