Dominion officially signed the lease on Oct. 11, 2013, with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for the development of offshore wind. View full details below, under "October 2013."
Dominion Virginia Power bid $1.6 million on Sept. 4, 2013, to win the lease for 112,800 acres of federal land off the coast of Virginia to develop an offshore wind turbine farm capable of generating up to 2,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for 500,000 homes. View full details below, under "September 2013."
Offshore wind has the potential to provide the largest, scalable renewable resource for Virginia with near-term resource availability of up to 2,000 megawatts if it can be achieved at reasonable cost to customers. Virginia has a unique offshore wind opportunity because of its shallow continental shelf extending nearly 30 miles off the coast, proximity to load centers, availability of local supply chain infrastructure, and world class port facilities.
Additionally, offshore wind resources have a higher production per unit installed than onshore wind resources because winds are typically stronger and more consistent at sea. However, one challenge facing offshore wind development is that it is more complex and costly to install and maintain than onshore wind or other traditional electric generation facilities.
The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is the lead federal agency in charge of leasing areas for offshore wind development on the outer continental shelf.
Dominion is involved in the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP), a research and development project supporting offshore wind generation. Dominion also is actively developing large-scale commercial offshore wind generation. Details about each are provided on related pages; historical information is featured below.
Mid-Atlantic Wind Energy Areas (WEAs)
View a video below of Dominion officially signing the lease on Oct. 11, 2013, with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for the development of offshore wind.
Dominion Virginia Power Wins Federal Offshore Wind Auction
Dominion Virginia Power bid $1.6 million on Sept. 4, 2013, to win the lease for 112,800 acres of federal land off the coast of Virginia to develop an offshore wind turbine farm capable of generating up to 2,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for 500,000 homes.
The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) conducted the auction. Eight companies, including Dominion, were approved to bid, but only two firms participated. The auction lasted six rounds.
“Offshore wind has the potential to provide the largest, scalable renewable resource for Virginia if it can be achieved at reasonable cost to customers,” said Mary C. Doswell, senior vice president-Alternative Energy Solutions. “We will now proceed with the BOEM timetable for development of the commercial wind energy area while advancing our research proposal and looking for ways to lower the cost of bringing offshore wind generation to customers.”
BOEM has several milestones that Dominion must meet to keep the lease with the final milestone being the submittal of a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) within five years of signing the lease. Once BOEM has the COP, it has an undetermined amount of time to perform an environmental analysis and approve the plan. Dominion expects the first turbine to be installed in about 10 years pending project approval by state regulators.
Informational Open House held Aug 14. in Virginia Beach, VA
The Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP) team hosted an informational open house on its offshore wind demonstration project on Aug. 14, 2013 at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach, VA. The public was able to hear various experts on environmental studies, turbine and foundation design and project schedule at the open house.
Dominion to bid in Sept. 4 auction for offshore wind generation
Dominion Virginia Power will bid in the Sept. 4 federal competitive lease auction for an offshore wind energy farm off the coast of Virginia. The company sees the potential up to 2,000 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind generation.
The company has been a participant in various phases of research and studies to date for bringing offshore wind to customers, including receiving initial federal funds to study erecting two 6-megawatt turbines near the 112,800 acres that are up for auction.
Mary Doswell, senior vice president-Alternative Energy Solutions at Dominion, said if all planning and necessary federal and state approvals go well that construction of turbines about 23 miles off the coast of Virginia could begin in about 10 years.
Dominion Virginia Power is planning to respond to the federal government’s call for interest in building electricity-generating wind turbines in the Atlantic Ocean off the Virginia coast. Offshore wind generation holds great promise in the long term as a renewable source of electricity, if it can be achieved at reasonable cost to customers.
BOEM has identified approximately 113,000 acres about 24 miles off the coast of Virginia that could be developed for electricity-generating wind turbines. Dominion plans to express interest formally in developing the offshore parcels.
"Dominion is actively involved today in studies to make offshore wind generation possible off the Virginia coast, and we will respond to this call for information," said Mary Doswell, Dominion's senior vice president for alternative energy solutions. "Offshore wind generation holds great promise as a renewable source of electricity. Our 2010 transmission study says our system can handle the additional megawatts and we are studying ways to address the significant challenge of reducing the possible cost to customers."
"This is a long-term project," Doswell said. "The United States currently lacks offshore wind infrastructure without dedicated ships or supply chain today. So there is a great promise of economic development related to offshore wind generation. The challenge remains the high cost of building this generation and bringing it to customers."
The company is actively participating in offshore wind policy development at the state level in Virginia.
In 2011, the Virginia General Assembly established an aspirational goal of 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2025. The Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority (VOWDA) was created through legislation in 2010 to help facilitate offshore wind energy development. The company is represented on VOWDA by an appointee of the Governor.
As required by this legislation, the company completed an offshore wind transmission study to determine possible offshore wind interconnection points to the transmission grid. The study found that it would be possible to interconnect large scale wind generation facilities with the existing grid in Virginia Beach.
Dominion also was awarded a $500,000 grant by the Department of Energy to conduct cost modeling and analysis to demonstrate the impact of innovative concepts on reducing the cost of energy of a hypothetical offshore wind project.