As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to creating nearly 80,000 jobs through the development 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland joined Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Senator Tim Kaine today to announce that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will be conducting an environmental review for a potential wind project offshore Virginia Beach.
On July 2, BOEM will publish a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the Federal Register, which will open 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.