VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Dominion Energy announced Wednesday that the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project has completed the final stage of testing and is ready to enter commercial service providing clean, renewable energy to Virginians.  

“This is a monumental day for the Commonwealth and the burgeoning offshore wind industry in America as CVOW is ready to deliver clean, renewable energy to our Virginia customers,” said Joshua Bennett, Dominion Energy vice president of offshore wind.

“Our team has worked diligently with key stakeholders and regulators while safely navigating through the coronavirus pandemic to complete this vitally important project that is a key step to reducing carbon emissions,” Bennett continued.

The next step for the two turbine, 12-megawatt project is submitting final documentation to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to complete its technical review — which is expected to be complete by the end of the year. 

Dominion Energy officials say that the turbines will remain operational during the review process. The project is the only one permitted under BOEM and will be the “first fully operational wind power generation facility in U.S. federal waters with the capability to generate enough electricity to power up to 3,000 Virginia homes.”

Offshore wind generation is a significant portion of Dominion Energy’s comprehensive clean energy plan to meet Virginia Clean Economy Act standards by achieving net-zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions throughout the state by 2050.

Dominion Energy will apply the valuable permitting, design, installation, and operations experience from the pilot project to its proposed 2,600-megawatt commercial project. That project, which is the largest announced offshore wind project in North America, is on track to commence construction in 2024, and upon completion, will provide enough renewable electricity to power up to 660,000 homes.

Glen Allen-based Mangum Economics recently conducted an economic impact study published by the Hampton Roads Alliance that estimates the CVOW project may create about 900 jobs and $143 million in economic impact annually during construction. During the operation of the turbines, an estimated 1,100 jobs, and nearly $210 million in economic impact can be expected annually.

The study also estimates that during construction, the 2.6-gigawatt CVOW commercial project is estimated to generate nearly $5 million per year in local and state tax revenue which potentially increases to about $11 million annually once the project is commissioned and operational.

Dominion Energy says customers will not see an increase in rates for the pilot project under the provisions of the Grid Transformation and Security Act of 2018.

Last year, Old Dominion University established an offshore wind task force to help with preparations as Dominion Energy worked to build the 220-turbine wind farm 27 miles off the Virginia Beach coast. Once complete, the $7.8 billion project would be the largest offshore wind farm in the country.

The installation of the two pilot turbines was completed in June. Ørsted served as the offshore engineering, procurement, and construction lead for the pilot project. The L. E. Myers Company with members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers performed the onshore construction work.

Work continues on Dominion Energy’s proposed 2.6-gigawatt commercial wind project and its Construction and Operations Plan is on schedule to be submitted to BOEM later this year.

For more information on the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project, click here.

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