U.S. energy company Dominion Energy said on Friday that its roughly $10 billion Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project was on budget and on track for completion in late 2026.
The company said in its second quarter earnings presentation that it expected to get a Record of Decision from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM) in the second half of 2023. The Record of Decision is a step in the process before construction can start.
The roughly 2,600-megawatt (MW) project consists of 176 turbines, each designed to generate 14.7 MW, to be located about 27 miles (43.5 kilometers) off the coast of Virginia Beach.
One megawatt can power around 1,000 U.S. homes on a typical day.
Offshore wind is seen as a key energy source in the climate-focused transition away from fossil fuels, prompting U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration to set a goal of deploying 30,000 MW of offshore wind by 2030.
There are currently proposals to build over 6,200 MW of offshore wind off Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Virginia over the next six years, according to federal energy data.
Although energy firms have proposed building offshore wind projects in the United States for more than two decades, there are only two projects operating – 29-MW off Rhode Island and 12-MW off Virginia.
That’s because offshore wind projects are expensive and take a long time to develop and build in the United States. Dominion signed a lease agreement for its project with the BOEM in 2013, which approved the company’s site assessment plan in 2017.
Dominion built the first phase of the project – a two-turbine, 12-MW pilot in 2020.
The Virginia State Corporate Commission approved the bigger, next phase of the project in 2022.
Dominion expects to build the second phase in 2024-2026.
(Reuters – Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Aurora Ellis)