United States

United States

Dominion wins Virginia offshore lease with $1.6m bid

UNITED STATES: Dominion Virginia Power has submitted a high bid of $1.6 million in the US's second offshore wind competitive lease auction, winning the right to develop nearly 113,000 acres off the coast of Virginia.

Dominion Virginia Power wins right to develop off the coast of Virginia
Dominion Virginia Power wins right to develop off the coast of Virginia
The utility, the largest in the state, beat Apex Virginia Offshore Wind in six rounds of bidding. Of the eight companies qualified to participate in the auction, only Dominion and Apex were the only ones to take part. 

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) director Tommy Beaudreau said he was pleased with the vigour of the competition and was not concerned with the attrition among potential bidders, either for this sale or the first one held in July. 

"There are upcoming sales offshore Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey in the coming year. And so what I think you are seeing is companies recognising that these sales are real, that they are happening in relatively quick succession and they are making their own capital plans on where to invest."

The site, located in federal waters about 23.5 miles off Virginia Beach, has a wind generation potential of more than 2GW.

Dominion says it expects the first turbine to be installed in about 10 years pending project approval by state regulators. "Offshore wind has the potential to provide the largest, scalable renewable resource for Virginia if it can be achieved at reasonable cost to customers," said Mary C. Doswell, senior vice president alternative energy solutions.

The company has also proposed a 12MW demonstration project near the lease area that, if selected in a Department of Energy competition, could be online by the end of 2017.

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