United States

United States

Approval for Virginia's first offshore project

UNITED STATES: Virginia's State Corporate Commission (SCC) regulator has approved Ørsted and Dominion's two-turbine Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project.

Siemens Gamesa's SWT-6.0-154 turbines at the Westermost Rough site off the coast of the UK
Siemens Gamesa's SWT-6.0-154 turbines at the Westermost Rough site off the coast of the UK

The 12MW wind farm will be the first offshore wind farm in the mid-Atlantic, and will comprise two of Siemens Gamesa’s SWT-6.0-154 turbines.

Ørsted described the utility regulator’s final approval as a "milestone" for the budding offshore wind industry in the US.

The Danish developer and Dominion are co-developing the site, which will be located 43km from Virginia Beach, with a targeted completion date of 2020.

CVOW will form part of utility Dominion’s plans to integrate 3GW of new renewable energy projects in Virginia, including up-to 2GW of wind power.

In its ruling, the SCC concluded that Dominion’s customers would "bear essentially all of the risk" of the CVOW project "in order to demonstrate the feasibility of a large-scale generating resource that will not be competitive with other resource options for the next 25 years under any scenario in Dominion’s IRP (integrated resource plan)".

Further, the regulator found that CVOW had the highest cost of any resource — including other offshore wind farms — modelled in the utility’s IRP, and that Dominion had failed to prove that the demonstrator was necessary to ensure reliable service to its customers at just and reasonable rates.

Accordingly, the SCC stated it would ordinarily "not be deemed prudent". However, it ruled the project is "in the public interest".

The SCC approved the project, and explained legislative intent and public policy superseded prudency. 

The site could be Virginia's first wind installed capacity. The state currently has zero operating projects, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.

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