Dominion Energy’s proposed Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project. Illustration: Dominion Energy

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday that the Port of Virginia has agreed to lease a portion of the Portsmouth Marine Terminal to Dominion Energy for infrastructure related to development of its proposed 2.6-megawatt wind energy project off Virginia Beach.

The governor’s office said the agreement dramatically accelerates the country’s largest commercial proposed offshore wind energy development and sets up Virginia for an emerging industry.

Dominion Energy is to lease 72 acres at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal for 10 years at about $4.4 million per year to use as a staging and preassembly area for foundations and turbines that are to be installed 27 miles off Virginia Beach. The company said the project will generate enough electricity to power as many as 660,000 homes during peak times.

“This announcement is yet another milestone toward making Virginia the national leader in offshore wind power,” said Northam. “The Commonwealth and Dominion Energy are standing together to promote clean energy, reduce carbon emissions, create jobs, and build a new American industry on the East Coast of the United States.”

Dominion Energy Chair, President and CEO Robert Blue said the port location was ideal.

“It has deep water access, no overhead restrictions, a strong, experienced maritime workforce and sufficient space for these large wind infrastructure components. It is perfectly situated to serve the Virginia offshore wind project and grow the domestic supply chain needed to complete other offshore wind projects in the United States,” he said.

The announcement came as Northam and Blue spoke at a three-day global conference at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

The lease includes an option for two, five-year renewals and calls for significant upgrades to be sure the terminal can handle the weight of the project’s large components.

Dominion is already operating two, 6-megawatt turbines as a demonstration project offshore of Cape Henry. The utility’s proposed project would span 112,799 acres.

Virginia created a law in 2020 that sets a target of 2034 for producing at least 5,200 megawatts of energy through offshore wind and a target of 2045 for achieving 100% carbon-free energy production.

Officials have cited a study showing the project could create about 900 jobs and $143 million in economic impact annually during construction and 1,100 jobs and almost $210 million in economic impact annually during operation of the turbines with as much as $11 million in annual local and state tax revenues once the project is commissioned and operational.

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Credit: Original content published here.

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