VIRGINIA: Largest US Offshore Wind Farm Gets Final Permit

wind turbines

WASHINGTON, DC, April 14, 2024 (ENS) – Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial, CVOW-C, project located off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia. has this week received its final Clean Air Act Outer Continental Shelf air quality permit.

Issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on April 9 after a 30-day public comment period, the permit authorizes the construction and operation of the largest offshore wind project in the United States.

Once complete, the approved project will generate roughly 2,640 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power 660,000 homes as its 176 turbines located 26 to 38 nautical miles from the coastal Virginia spin in the wind.

“To have the largest offshore wind project right here in the Mid-Atlantic is both a privilege and a responsibility – and we take our role in enabling clean energy initiatives very seriously,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz.

“This project will generate enough renewable energy to power nearly five times as many homes as there are in Richmond, all done with the environment and communities front of mind,” Ortiz said.

The renewable power supply contributes to the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of generating 30 gigawatts of clean, abundant energy from offshore wind by 2030.

The EPA permit includes requirements such as the prevention of significant deterioration permitting program and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality requirements that regulate air pollutants from the construction and operation of the wind farm. And that includes emissions from the vessels used to construct and support the project.

EPA coordinated its review of this permit with other federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The permit, response to comments document, and supporting materials are available for review on the website.

International Hands Will Operate the Project, Under New Ownership

In March, Dominion Energy Virginia agreed to sell half of its interest in the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind, CVOW, project to the investment firm Stonepeak, an American investment firm headquartered in New York City.

In March, the Denmark-based energy group Ørsted, hired by Dominion Energy to build the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project, also divested wind farm shares to Stonepeak – all onshore projects: the Ford Ridge Wind project in Illinois, the Helena Wind and Western Trail Wind projects in Texas, and the Sunflower Wind project in Kansas.

The projects are all currently operational and have power purchase agreements in place for all or parts of the production capacity. Going forward, Stonepeak will receive 80 percent of the cash distributions associated with the four projects, while Ørsted will continue to operate the portfolio of assets.

Ørsted is a premier offshore wind power developer that is developing 5,000 megawatts of offshore wind capacity along the U.S. East Coast.

In various stages of development, they are:

  • – Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind – Ørsted completed work on the two-turbine demonstration CVOW project for Dominion Energy in 2020. The project’s two turbines, placede 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, were the first ever to be installed in federal waters. Ørsted supported the engineering, procurement and construction work and Dominion Energy will remain the sole owner of the turbines.
  • – Block Island Wind Farm – America’s first offshore wind farm, this is just five turbines located three miles southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island, generating 30 megawatts, MW, of power since 2016
  • – Revolution Wind – Status: Awarded. Located more than 15 miles south of the Rhode Island coast and 32 miles southeast of the Connecticut coast, this offshore wind farm will generate power for both states – 400 MW to Rhode Island and 304 MW to Connecticut. Completion expected in 2025.

Revolution Wind is one of three offshore wind farm joint ventures of Ørsted with Eversource, New England’s largest energy company and premier electric transmission builder.

In December 2016, Ørsted and Eversource teamed up to launch a new clean energy industry in the U.S. Northeast that is now built out to at least 4,000 MW of offshore wind, including the now awarded Revolution Wind, South Fork Wind, and Sunrise Wind projects.

South Fork Wind, which has just begun to generate power, has 12 turbines located 35 miles east of Montauk Point on the easternmost point of New York’s Long Island.

On March 14, New York Governor Kathy Hochul and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced the completion of the South Fork Wind project, with all 12 offshore wind turbines constructed and the wind farm delivering power to Long Island and the Rockaways. This offshore wind farm is the first to connect in New York State and help the Town of East Hampton meet its 100 percent renewable energy goal.

Sunrise Wind – Status: Awarded, this offshore wind farm will be located over 30 miles east of Long Island’s Montauk Point. A project of Ørsted and Eversource, with support from Con Edison and New York Power Authority, this 924 MW offshore wind project will power more than half a million homes. It is expected to enter commercial operation in 2025.

Ørsted currently has a portfolio of nearly 6 GW of onshore wind, solar, and battery storage projects in operation and under construction across the United States.

“The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy,” the company says on its website. Ørsted develops, constructs, and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, renewable hydrogen and green fuels facilities, and bioenergy plants.”

Featured image: Ørsted offshore wind turbines similar to those going up along the U.S. Atlantic coast. (Photo courtesy Ørsted)

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