(STL.News) – Dominion Energy has received two key determinations from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) regarding the design, fabrication and installation of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project.
“This is a significant milestone as we move forward on building the first-ever fully permitted offshore wind project in federal waters,” said Mark D. Mitchell, Dominion Energy’s vice president of generation construction.” This process will provide key learnings we can apply to our commercial-scale offshore wind project.”
Dominion submitted its Facility Design Report (FDR) and Fabrication and Installation Report (FIR) in partnership with Ørsted, a global leader in offshore wind development contracted for CVOW, and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, the company manufacturing the two 6-megawatt wind turbines to be installed next year 27 miles off the Virginia Beach coast. BOEM has reviewed and responded to the two filings with a no objection determination, a significant milestone for the project.
“The FDR/FIR no objection determination is the latest milestone in a list of firsts for the burgeoning offshore wind industry in the U.S. to come through the CVOW project,” said Thomas Brostrøm, CEO of Ørsted US Offshore Wind. “As the only fully permitted project in the U.S. federal waters, CVOW continues to provide all involved parties valuable experience that will drive regulatory efficiencies and increased certainty that will reduce costs for future projects in the U.S.”
The FDR details the design of all the major components of the offshore wind project, while the FIR describes the fabrication and installation plans of the equipment. The decision from BOEM is a necessary approval to move forward with offshore construction, which is on track for the summer of 2020.
“This formal approval is a significant milestone for the Coastal Virginia project,” said Steve Dayney, U.S. Head of Offshore, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE). “We are very proud of this accomplishment which will enable us to maintain momentum in the project and may serve as a blueprint of success for others.”
L.E. Myers Company began onshore construction in June to facilitate interconnection of the two 6-megawatt wind turbines at a company substation near Camp Pendleton. At peak production, CVOW will power 3,000 homes. The turbines will not be visible from shore.
CVOW was first announced two years ago and received approval last November from the Virginia State Corporation Commission. The construction process 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 those species are located within an exclusion zone, work will be stopped.
Wind is part of a broader effort to deliver renewable energy, including solar, as Dominion Energy honors its commitment to reduce carbon emissions. The company recently announced the largest offshore wind project in the United States. With approval from the State Corporation Commission, it would generate more than 2,600 megawatts of energy by 2026.