The vessel will collect samples and data to determine the foundation design for the two 6MW offshore turbines proposed at the site and help prepare plans for the installation of cables.
Testing will take place throughout July at the site, located 27 miles off Virginia Beach on the east coast.
The vessel will make a total of 15 borings to gather samples at the test site and the proposed cable route.
Dominion Virginia Power received $47 million from the US Department of Energy (DoE) in May to complete the construction of a 12MW demonstration project. Under conditions of the grant, the project needs to be commissioned by the end of 2017.
It was also one of seven projects selected by the DoE in 2012 to receive $4 million each to undertake the engineering, site evaluation and planning of a demonstration facility.
If plans are approved, Dominion will install two Alstom Haliade 6MW turbines at the site. Dominion hopes to continue developing the lease up to a possible 2GW installed capacity.