At the January 28, 2015 meeting of the Virginia Offshore Wind Authority (VOWDA), Mary Doswell with Dominion Virginia Power presented an update on the project schedule for the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology More »
On Nov. 14, 2014, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to study Virginia’s port readiness for offshore wind development. The U.K.’s BVG Associates More »
Dominion Virginia Power’s two 12 megawatt test turbines have cleared another federal regulatory hurdle as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) confirmed no competitive interest for the development project. BOEM will More »
“Sierra Club congratulates Dominion on its offshore wind winning bid today,” said Glen Besa, Director of the Sierra Club in Virginia. “As Virginia’s largest emitter of climate change causing carbon pollution, Dominion More »
By 2017, Virginia could see two test turbines capable of producing about 12 megawatts of clean renewable energy off its shores – enough to power 3,000 homes.
In December 2012, Dominion Virginia Power More »
Harnessing the wind off Virginia’s coast could provide enough energy to power 500,000 homes by the end of this decade. Plus the opportunities for job creation are huge. An aggressive build-out of offshore wind farms would create over 10,000 well-paying, local, career-length jobs right here in the Commonwealth. With plentiful offshore winds, a deep water port and a skilled and experienced labor force, Virginia could be the east coast capital for America’s new offshore wind industry.
VA4Wind is a coalition uniting public and private interests in pursuing a grassroots campaign to win over massive public support for developing Virginia’s offshore wind resources as quickly as possible. Member groups include the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, Green Jobs Alliance and Virginia Interfaith Power & Light. Join us!
At the January 28, 2015 meeting of the Virginia Offshore Wind Authority (VOWDA), Mary Doswell with Dominion Virginia Power presented an update on the project schedule for the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Project (VOWTAP). She indicated that to be operational by the end of 2017 as required by the Department of Energy, an application would need to be filed with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) by June 2016 so as to have a decision from the SCC by no later than March 2017.
Dominion’s application to the SCC will be for cost recovery. By law, the SCC must approve any rate increases to customers’ electric bills. The SCC must determine the costs for electric generation to be reasonable and prudent in order to approve Dominion’s applications for cost recovery on the VOWTAP project.
Dominion will argue (and rightfully so) that the approval of the VOWTAP project is critical to development of its commercial lease area. The DOE funding it received supports technological advancements that ideally lower the cost of offshore wind. The VOWTAP project tests innovations in blade design and foundations that lend economies of scale yielding more energy per wind turbine than the smaller offshore wind turbines utilized in European waters.
Considering the SCC’s reluctance and near hostile stance towards any and all renewable energy, approval of the VOWTAP is expected to be a heavy lift, even in the eyes of Dominion, which otherwise yields a tremendous amount of political power within the state legislature that appoints SCC commissioners. Approval will likely involve an all-hands-on-deck with not only grassroots pressure directed on the SCC, but also supply chain businesses arguing economic development. It’ll be a very interesting experience being on the same side of an issue with Dominion!
On Nov. 14, 2014, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to study Virginia’s port readiness for offshore wind development. The U.K.’s BVG Associates was awarded the $300,000 study award which must be completed by May 30, 2015.
This RFP implements a key aspect of the following Virginia Energy Plan recommendation:
Establish Virginia as the ideal manufacturing, operational and supply chain hub for offshore wind development in the mid-Atlantic region and provide support and resources to accelerate development of Virginia’s offshore wind resources.
The study’s primary objective is to evaluate the general readiness of Virginia’s port terminals to host manufacturing and fabrication activities, as well as staging large numbers of wind turbines and towers, foundation sub-structures and piles, and subsea power cabling prior to offshore transport.
A secondary objective is to develop on-shore site build-out scenarios for producing and staging various specific offshore wind components, namely wind turbines & towers, foundation substructures, submarine power cables, and offshore substation platforms.
The final of 6 tasks outlined in the proposal involves development of a prioritized list of port investment opportunities. It stipulates the following:
Based on the findings of Tasks 3 through 5, prepare a prioritized list of investments based on the above scenarios and their likely impact on the offshore wind cost of energy. To the extent that any of these facilities can be ready in time to support the installation of the VOWTAP demonstration project in 2017, those specific facilities also should be integrated with Dominon’s VOWTAP U.S. Manufacturing Plan.
Finally, the RFP mentions another VEP recommendation involving offshore wind that is not specifically requested in the RFP. Specifically the VEP recommends that Virginia “publicize the asset strengths and other unique advantages that differentiate the Commonwealth as the best location for a mid-Atlantic offshore wind hub”.
Dominion Virginia Power’s two 12 megawatt test turbines have cleared another federal regulatory hurdle as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) confirmed no competitive interest for the development project. BOEM will now allow the applicant, Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME), to submit a proposal to erect the two test turbines in an area adjacent to Virginia’s commercial wind energy area.
“The type of data that would be collected under this research lease is especially important to understanding the wind potential, weather and other conditions relevant to standing up wind power generation offshore Virginia,” BOEM Director Tommy Beaudreau said in a statement.
This announcement comes a handful of months following the commercial lease sale of approximately 113,000 acres off the coast of Virginia Beach to Dominion with its winning bid of $1.6 million.
Dominion is also the lead partner in a coalition of firms comprising the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project. The primary VOWTAP objectives are:
- To design, develop, and demonstrate a state-of-the art grid-connected 12 megawatt (mw) offshore wind research facility off the coast of Virginia.
- Employ technology innovations and research that will inform and benefit future commercial scale offshore wind developments in the United States.
- Develop technologies and process solutions that will contribute to establishing offshore wind as a cost-effective renewable energy solution for the United States.
“Sierra Club congratulates Dominion on its offshore wind winning bid today,” said Glen Besa, Director of the Sierra Club in Virginia. “As Virginia’s largest emitter of climate change causing carbon pollution, Dominion needs to be pursuing clean energy alternatives.”
Dominion-Virginia Power’s current plans to meet future electricity demand would result in a 50% increase in the carbon pollution over the next 20 years.
“As a monopoly and Virginia’s largest utility, Dominion has a moral obligation as a good corporate citizen to address climate change,” said Besa. “Today’s winning bid is a positive sign that Dominion is starting to move in the right direction. It is critical that Dominion look to wind, solar and energy efficiency as the primary sources to meet our future energy needs.“
Following today’s bidding process, the winner will have 6 months to develop a Site Assessment Plan followed by a five year time frame in which the developer must prepare a Construction and Operations Plan. The winner of today’s bid could be breaking ground on an offshore wind farm before 2020 with full build out of the 2,000 MWs before 2030.