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Construction Begins on Second U.S. Offshore Wind Project

(L to R): Kit Chopin, Senator Frank Wagner, Bobby Dyer, Thomas F. Farrell, II, Ralph Northam, Paul Koonce, Senator Bill DeSteph and Hayes Framme
(L to R): Kit Chopin, Senator Frank Wagner, Bobby Dyer, Thomas F. Farrell, II, Ralph Northam, Paul Koonce, Senator Bill DeSteph and Hayes Framme

By The Maritime Executive 2019-07-01 21:33:21

Dominion Energy has formally started construction on the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, the second U.S. such farm in the U.S. Deepwater Wind, now a subsidiary of Ørsted, completed the first U.S. offshore wind farm near Rhode Island in 2016.

Dominion Energy is breaking ground to install a half-mile conduit, which will hold the final stretch of cables connecting the turbines 27 miles (43 kilometers) off the coast of Virginia Beach to a company substation near Camp Pendleton. This will facilitate interconnection of the two 6MW wind turbines which will power 3,000 homes at peak. 

The project was announced two years ago and is the only fully permitted offshore wind project in U.S. federal waters. The turbines will not be noticeable from shore once construction is completed in 2020. Dominion Energy anticipates $1.1 billion in offshore wind investments through 2023.

The construction process for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project is on a strict timetable in order to minimize environmental impacts to the sea bottom and aquatic life. Observers will be present during the offshore construction activities to look for protected species in the area. If protected species are located within an exclusion zone, work will be stopped.

Ørsted has been contracted for the offshore portion of the project. The company is active elsewhere in the U.S. Most recently, in June, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities selected Ocean Wind, an offshore wind energy project proposed by Ørsted, to negotiate a 20-year offshore wind farm with a capacity of 1.1GW. Located off the coast of Atlantic City, Ocean Wind will be New Jersey’s first large-scale offshore wind farm. It will also be the first offshore wind farm in the U.S. to exceed 1GW. Subject to Ørsted’s final investment decision, the wind farm is expected to be completed by 2024. 

The award means that Ørsted has secured a U.S. offshore wind build-out portfolio with a total capacity of approximately 2GW to be completed between 2022 to 2024. Ørsted aims to optimize operations across the portfolio as well as inside the clusters:

Mid-Atlantic cluster

•     Ocean Wind (1,100MW) will deliver power to New Jersey. Expected commissioning by 2024.
•     Skipjack (120MW) will deliver power to Maryland. Expected commissioning by 2022.

North-East cluster (owned 50-50 with Eversource)

•     Revolution Wind (704MW) will deliver power to Rhode Island (400MW) and Connecticut (304MW). Expected commissioning by 2023.
•     South Fork (130MW) will deliver power to Long Island, New York. Expected commissioning by 2022.