Virginia Governor Ralph Northam this week announced an agreement for Ørsted to lease a portion of the Portsmouth Marine Terminal for offshore wind staging materials and equipment. The agreement was ratified January 28 by a unanimous vote of the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners.
According to a release from the governor’s office, Ørsted could use the site for its work on the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project with Dominion Energy, as well as for staging materials and equipment for Ørsted projects up and down the East Coast. If fully executed, the lease will run through at least 2026, during which time Ørsted plans to install nearly 3,000 megawatts of wind energy projects in the United States.
“This is a big step towards making Virginia a leader in wind energy and offshore wind manufacturing,” said Governor Northam. “With the Port of Virginia at its helm, the Hampton Roads region has the trained workforce and the nautical know-how to become a vital hub for offshore wind development. We welcome Ørsted and look forward to the tremendous opportunities ahead of us.”
The agreement between the Port and Ørsted is for an initial lease of 1.7 acres at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal through 2026, with options to expand to an additional 40 acres. If fully executed, the agreement could be worth nearly $13 million in lease payments and result in site upgrades worth more than $20 million for cranes and improvements to a section of the terminal’s berth to ensure heavy load capacity. Those investments would prepare the site for activities such as pre-assembly, staging, and loading of wind turbines for other Ørsted projects.
“It is our hope that today’s announcement demonstrates the potential we see in Virginia as a central player in the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind industry,” said Thomas Brostrøm, President and CEO Ørsted North America, Offshore. “Much activity will be taking place in Virginia and beyond in the coming months and years, and Portsmouth Marine Terminal is well-situated to meet our needs both now and in the future.”
Portsmouth Marine Terminal is one of the Port of Virginia’s two multi-use terminals in the Norfolk Harbor. Covering 287 acres, the facility is located on deep water, has on-dock rail access, and offers open space for storage and staging.
“This is a strategic decision by leaders in the offshore wind industry to take advantage of Virginia’s world-class port,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority. “By welcoming Ørsted and allowing it to leverage the Portsmouth Marine Terminal, we could jumpstart an almost entirely new industry. The result is job creation, economic investment, diversification of the Virginia economy, and clean, renewable energy.”