New report says Virginia could be a leader in coming offshore wind boom

    A new report says Virginia’s port infrastructure, experienced maritime workforce and geographical advantages make it an ideal candidate for becoming a hub for the East Coast offshore wind supply chain.

    The report, by BVG Associates and commissioned by Virginia’s Sierra Club chapter, says the window for action won’t be open forever, however.

    “A number of states — New York in particular — have already developed offshore wind master plans,” the executive summary says. “Virginia has great potential and many natural advantages to attract this investment, but must act now to be a leader in offshore wind.”  Rhode Island’s Block Island project is the nation’s first commercial offshore wind farm, though other Atlantic states — Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Maryland — have announced plans to pursue their own, the report says.

    Offshore wind offers higher and more consistent wind speeds than onshore wind and can be installed at a scale equivalent to nuclear power stations close to load centers, the report notes. Dominion Energy, the state’s largest utility, is pursuing a pilot program — two six-megawatt test turbines 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach — to gather data to inform a larger project that could total 2,000 megawatts.

    BVG, a London-based renewable energy consulting firm, was also hired in July by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to advise the state on how to become a major center for offshore wind.

     

     

    Previous articleVirginia’s Bureau of Insurance recovers more than $3.4 million for consumers so far this year
    Next articleEnvironmental groups sue over ‘rushed permits’ that allowed Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction to resume
    Robert Zullo
    Robert has been winning and losing awards as a reporter and editor for 13 years at weekly and daily newspapers, beginning at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., where he was a staff writer and managing editor. He spent five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary.