BOEM set to prepare Dominion Energy offshore wind EIS

Written by Nick Blenkey
Dominion Energy offshore wind project

Image: Dominion Energy

Another U.S. offshore wind project looks to be rolling smoothly along the regulatory track. Dominion Energy reports that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is publishing in the Federal Register the Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed 2.6-gigawatt Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project, the largest planned offshore wind farm in the United States.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland yesterday joined Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Senator Tim Kaine yesterday to announce the NOI, which opens a 30-day public comment period extending through 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on August 2, 2021.

During this time, BOEM will hold three virtual public scoping meetings. Public input obtained during the comment period will help BOEM determine the important resources and issues, potential impacts to the environment, reasonable alternatives, and mitigation measures to be analyzed in the EIS.

“Building a domestic offshore wind supply chain is a key step needed to meet this administration’s goal of 30 GW by 2030,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “If approved, the CVOW-C project will represent another step forward to help the United States leverage existing manufacturing and workforce capabilities to grow a network of domestic suppliers.”

Located approximately 23.5 nautical miles offshore Virginia, the project calls for the construction and operation of up to 205 turbines capable of generating up to 3,000 megawatts of electricity. During development and construction, the CVOW-C project would generate an average of approximately 900 jobs from 2020-2026, with a peak of approximately 1,500 jobs in 2024 and 2025. During operations and maintenance, the CVOW-C project would support about 1,100 long-term jobs.

The project proposal includes three offshore substations with one possible cable landfall location in Virginia Beach. The energy produced would help Virginia reach its legislated goal of securing 5.2 GW of offshore energy by 2034.

Dominion Energy already operates a research offshore wind project located near the proposed CVOW-C project location, consisting of two test turbines in federal waters off the coast of Virginia Beach, which will provide data to help inform the commercial-scale project.

“The Notice of Intent marks an important regulatory milestone and ensures CVOW remains on schedule to complete construction in 2026, so we can deliver clean, renewable offshore wind energy to Dominion Energy Virginia customers,” said Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy’s chair, president and chief executive officer. “We look forward to continuing to work with our federal regulators and the public as we move forward with the environmental review process.”

  • More information about the CVOW-C project, BOEM’s environmental review, and the virtual public meetings may be found HERE
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