Siemens Gamesa scraps plans to build blades for offshore wind turbines on Virginia’s coast | KWKT

European Company Cancels Offshore Wind Turbine Blade Factory in Virginia

NORFOLK, Va. – Siemens Gamesa, a European company, has announced the cancellation of its plans to build blades for offshore wind turbines in coastal Virginia, dealing a blow to the state’s ambitions of becoming a hub for offshore wind projects. The proposed $200 million factory, which would have been located at the Port of Virginia in Portsmouth, was expected to create more than 300 jobs. This decision reflects the challenges faced by the U.S. offshore wind industry, including inflation, raised interest rates, and supply chain issues.

Siemens Gamesa’s cancellation comes in the wake of other setbacks in the industry. Danish energy developer Orsted recently scrapped two large offshore wind power projects off the coast of New Jersey due to similar supply chain issues and rising interest rates. The Park City Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts was also canceled, as Avangrid and Connecticut utilities withdrew from a long-term power purchase agreement.

The company stated that the cancellation of the Virginia factory was due to the inability to meet development milestones, without providing further details. However, this setback will not affect the construction of Dominion Energy’s massive wind farm off the coast of Virginia Beach, as the turbines for that project will be sourced from Siemens Gamesa facilities in Europe. Dominion’s wind farm, consisting of 176 turbines, is set to become the largest offshore wind farm under development in the U.S.

The Biden administration has set a goal of building 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, enough to power over 10 million homes. Offshore wind is favored by environmentalists and many state governments as it does not rely on fossil fuels, contributing to efforts to combat climate change. However, opponents argue that offshore wind projects require substantial financial subsidies to be viable.

Robert McNab, an economist at Old Dominion University, believes that the cancellation of projects like this may be temporary. He suggests that once inflation and interest rates decrease, these projects could potentially be revived and even expanded. McNab emphasizes that the declining costs of renewable energy, such as wind and solar, make them increasingly competitive and likely to see a resurgence in the future.

While the cancellation of Siemens Gamesa’s blade factory in Virginia is a setback for the U.S. offshore wind industry, experts remain optimistic about the long-term prospects of renewable energy. As the costs of generation continue to decline, it is expected that projects like this will regain momentum and play a vital role in the country’s transition to cleaner sources of energy.

Original Story at – 2023-11-10 21:02:17

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