Dominion Energy says the two turbine, 12 MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project, located 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, successfully completed reliability testing and is ready to enter commercial service to deliver renewable energy to Virginia customers.

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

The next significant regulatory step for CVOW is to submit the final documentation for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to complete its technical review, which is expected to be complete by the end of the year. The turbines will remain in operation during this review process. CVOW is the only project currently permitted under the BOEM process and will be the first fully operational wind power generation facility in U.S. federal waters.

Offshore wind generation is a major component of Dominion Energy’s comprehensive clean energy strategy to meet standards mandated in the Virginia Clean Economy Act and to achieve the company’s net-zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions commitment by 2050.

The company will apply the valuable permitting, design, installation and operations experience from the pilot project to its proposed 2,600 MW commercial project. That project, which is the largest announced offshore wind project in North America, is on track to commence construction in 2024.

According to an economic impact study performed by Glen Allen-based Mangum Economics and commissioned and published by the Hampton Roads Alliance, it is estimated that the CVOW commercial project could create approximately 900 jobs and $143 million in economic impact annually during construction and 1,100 jobs and almost $210 million in economic impact annually during operation of the turbines. Similarly, during construction, the 2.6 GW CVOW commercial project is estimated to generate nearly $5 million per year in local and state tax revenue which increases to almost $11 million annually once the project is commissioned and operational.

A variety of Virginia-based companies contributed to the CVOW pilot project and Dominion Energy remains committed to positioning Hampton Roads as a supply chain hub for U.S. offshore wind efforts, which can create thousands of clean energy jobs.

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 Co. – with members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – performed the onshore construction work.

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