Turbines Shipped for Virginia's Offshore Wind Farm

Source: Dominion Energy
Source: Dominion Energy

Published Apr 21, 2020 4:48 PM by The Maritime Executive

The turbine components and monopiles for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind pilot project have started their journey from German to North America. 

The project is a collaboration between Dominion Energy and Ørsted, and the foundations, consisting of the turbines' monopiles, transition pieces and anode cages were fabricated by EEW SPC.

These components were loaded onto the Bigroll Beaufort in Rostock. The components for the two, six-megawatt Siemens Gamesa turbines were loaded in Esbjerg, Denmark, before the vessel embarked in mid-April on the approximately two-week transatlantic journey to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

"Even though this project consists of two monopiles and transition pieces, it has profound importance for the development of the U.S. offshore wind market, as this is the first project that successfully has passed all phases of BOEM approval," said Christoph Schorge, CEO of the EEW Group. 

Installation of the two turbines, located 27 miles offshore, is expected to begin later this spring, and they are expected to enter service by the end of the year. Onshore construction for the pilot project began last year in June to facilitate the interconnection of the turbines at a company substation near Camp Pendleton. At peak production, the pilot project will power 3,000 homes.

The pilot project was first announced more than two years ago and received approval in November 2018 from the State Corporation Commission. The construction process is on a strict timetable, in order to minimize environmental impacts to the sea bottom and aquatic life.

Also this month, Dominion Energy is conducting ocean surveys to map the seabed of the 112,800-acre lease area where the company's large-scale 2,600-megawatt Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project will be built beginning in 2024. The project's Construction and Operations Plan is expected to be submitted to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management later this year.

Dominion Energy plans to move forward with the project in three phases, each totaling 880 megawatts. The first phase will support initial generation of wind energy by 2024. Additional phases will come online in 2025 and 2026, totaling more than 2,600 megawatts of energy, enough to power 650,000 homes during peak wind.

Dominion Energy's offshore wind projects are part of the company's strategy to achieve net zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions from its power generation and gas infrastructure operations by 2050. To accomplish this goal, the company is expanding solar and wind energy across Virginia, in partnership with zero-carbon nuclear and low-carbon natural gas. Additionally, the company is investing in renewable natural gas, battery storage, pumped hydroelectric storage and other resources that can support the intermittent nature of solar and wind.