Contract Awarded for Modifications for Wind Staging Port in Virginia

wind port at Portsmouth Marine Terminal
Part of the Portsmouth Marine Terminal is being developed to support the assembly and provide a staging area for Virginia's offshore wind farm industry (Virginia Port Authority)

Published Aug 16, 2022 3:25 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Virginia Port Authority is moving ahead with the redevelopment of a portion of the Portsmouth Marine Terminal for use as an offshore wind staging port. The port authority has awarded a contract to Skanska for work at the terminal to prepare it as the staging area to support the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, which currently is the largest offshore wind energy project of its kind in the U.S.

Skanda was selected for projects at the site which will make it ready to handle the vessels which will transfer materials from the assembly and staging operations planned for the Portsmouth Marine Terminal. Skanda reports the contract is valued at $223 million.

“Virginia plans to construct 180 off-shore wind turbines to provide enough energy for 660,000 homes,” said Brook Brookshire, senior vice president of Skanska civil operations. “Skanska is honored to work on an innovative and sustainable project that supports the state’s clean energy goals and reflects our value to build for a better society.”

Last year, the Virginia Port Authority entered into an expanded agreement with Dominion Energy for a 10-year lease on the site. The project calls for approximately 72 acres of the 287-acre Portsmouth Marine Terminal to be redeveloped as a wind port to support the construction of the offshore wind farm. Virginia had originally leased a smaller portion of the terminal specifically to operate as the staging port but Dominion later expanded the scope of the project to also include the assembly operations. After Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind is completed, the site at the Port of the Virginia can also be used by other offshore wind developers to support there projects,

The scope of work assigned to Skanda in the redevelopment of the terminal includes improving 1,500 feet of an existing 3,540-foot wharf. They will be constructing three heavy lift berths at the site. The berths include the wind turbine generator delivery berth, the wind turbine generator load-out berth, and the berth for the steel tube monopiles. The development of the berths also includes dredging a channel and access area to support a Mediterranean mooring configuration.

Other work to be performed by Skanda includes strengthening the soils and surface in the upland areas to accommodate handling heavy surface loadings from cranes, self-propelled modular transporters, wind turbine generators, and monopile and transition piece components. They will also be installing high mast lighting, stormwater collection systems, perimeter fencing, and other ancillary structures and systems.

Dominion Energy which is developing the offshore wind farm located approximately 27 miles offshore recently announced that it received approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission on the plans for the project as one of the final steps before construction can begin. Dominion in 2020 also submitted its Construction and Operations Plan (COP) to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and expects to receive the final approval for the project in 2023. Offshore construction is scheduled to begin in 2024

The wind farm will consist of 176 wind turbines standing slightly more than 800 feet tall, three offshore substations to collect and bundle the energy, undersea cables to get it ashore, and new onshore transmission infrastructure to deliver the energy onto the broader electric grid. When it begins commercial production in 2026, it is expected to provide 2.6 GW of electricity that will generate enough power for 660,000 homes.