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Dominion Details Construction Plan for Largest U.S. Offshore Wind Farm

Dominion announces construction plans for largest U.S. offshore wind farm
Dominion detailed construction plans asking for approval to proceed on the largest commercial offshore wind farm in the U.S. (Dominion)

Published Nov 5, 2021 6:43 PM by The Maritime Executive

The largest offshore wind farm currently under development in the United States is continuing to make good progress in its pre-construction phase according to reports by developer Dominion Energy. Today, Dominion took important next steps filing plans with the Virginia State Corporation Commission for approval to construct the 2.6 GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project. The company also announced the major contracts for the project, including the awarding of the largest submarine cable contract yet awarded in the U.S.

The CVOW commercial project, scheduled to begin offshore construction in 2024, is proposed for a site approximately 27 miles from Virginia Beach that will include up to 180 turbines standing slightly more than 800 feet tall. It represents a series of firsts for Dominion Energy and the energy industry. The pilot project is the first project installed in federal waters and is the only project developed and owned by an electric utility. 

“Offshore wind is a key component of our strategy and a game changer for the Hampton Roads economy," said Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy Chair, President and CEO. "CVOW is making Virginia the hub for this new industry.”

The filing with the state details the construction plan for the commercial phase of the project. As part of the filing, Dominion Energy is also presenting a proposed transmission interconnection route along with alternatives for the commission to review. Dominion is requesting approval to build approximately 17 miles of new transmission lines and other onshore infrastructure needed to deliver the power generated by the wind farm into the power supply in Virginia.

The largest to date submarine cable contract is being awarded to a consortium made up of Prysmian and the DEME Group. The contract which is valued at approximately $1.8 billion, including $728 million to Prysmian for the cable supply and installation, includes the work for the transportation and installation of the foundations and substations as well as the engineering, procurement, construction, and installation services. Prysmian will provide three 3-core 220kV HVAC export cables measuring approximately 38 miles each, with XLPE insulation and single-wire armoring, for a total of approximately 350 miles. The company will also supply nearly 200 miles of 3-core 66kV offshore inter-array cables with XLPE insulation.

“We are moving the CVOW project forward by working with industry leaders as we bring utility scale offshore wind generation to our Virginia customers,” said Joshua Bennett, Dominion Energy's Vice President of offshore wind. “These contracts will allow us to manage costs for the benefit of our customers and take advantage of the developing domestic supply chain to deliver on our promise to bring clean-energy jobs to Hampton Roads.”

The other major contracts detailed include the 176 steel monopile foundations that will be manufactured by EEW SPC. Bladt Industries will manufacture the 176 transition pieces and working with Semco Maritime will also manufacture components for the three offshore substations. 

Dominion Energy last year announced that wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy would be the preferred turbine supplier for the 176 14.7-megawatt turbines. The keel for the Charybdis, designed to be the first Jones Act-compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel, which will be used to install the turbines, was laid in December 2020.

Monopile foundations, transition pieces, and turbine components will be staged on 72 acres at Portsmouth Marine Terminal as part of a 10-year lease agreement with the Virginia Port Authority. 

Having reached these milestones in the development of the project, Dominion says that it remains on schedule.  CVOW is currently scheduled to enter commercial operations in 2026.