Massive windfarm project to be built off Virginia coast gains key federal approval

Dominion Energy has received a favorable “record of decision” from the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for its offshore wind farm project off the coast of Virginia. The approval comes after the Biden Administration evaluated the project’s potential impact on the environment, taking into consideration efforts to minimize effects on marine life, such as endangered North Atlantic right whales. While the utility still needs federal approval of its construction and operation plans, the favorable decision marks an important step forward for the project.

Dominion Energy plans to build 176 turbines more than 20 miles off the coast from Virginia Beach, making it the largest offshore wind farm under development in the United States. The project is expected to generate 2.6 gigawatts of electricity, enough to power up to 660,000 homes once fully constructed. Dominion estimates that the wind farm’s output will generate fuel savings of $3 billion for customers in its first decade of operation. Construction is expected to be completed by late 2026.

The approval of Dominion Energy’s offshore wind project is part of the Biden Administration’s push to develop 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, enough to power more than 10 million homes. The initiative has gained wide support from Virginia policymakers and political leaders, including Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, who attended a reception marking the arrival of eight monopile foundations for the wind farm.

Environmental groups have also praised the project for its potential to cut carbon pollution and transition to clean energy. The Southern Environmental Law Center emphasized the importance of offshore wind in reducing reliance on coal and methane gas, while also providing cost savings for customers. The Virginia League of Conservation Voters echoed this sentiment, stating that offshore wind will play a significant role in transitioning to a clean and just energy future.

In addition to its environmental benefits, the project is expected to support job creation in Virginia. The construction phase is estimated to support about 900 jobs each year, and once operational, it will create approximately 1,100 annual jobs. This is welcome news for the state’s economy and workforce.

Overall, the approval of Dominion Energy’s offshore wind farm project off Virginia’s coast is a significant development in the push for clean energy and reducing carbon emissions. The project’s potential to generate renewable electricity and provide cost savings for customers, along with its job creation benefits, make it a promising endeavor in the transition to a clean and sustainable energy future.

Original Story at – 2023-10-31 19:46:53

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