Dominion Energy announced today that it plans to develop the largest offshore wind development project in the U.S. to provide more renewable energy to its customers in Virginia and provide a boost to the offshore wind industry on the East Coast.
The Richmond, Va.-based company filed an application with PJM, the regional transmission organization that coordinates the electrical grid in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia, to interconnect the proposed turbines to the transmission grid. The proposal includes more than 2,600 megawatts of wind energy by 2026 off Virginia coast. More than 220 wind turbines would power 650,000 homes at peak.
Dominion Energy's filing is the first step to move forward in developing Virginia's full offshore wind potential. The company said it looks forward to working with the (Virginia Gov. Ralph) Northam administration and other partners on next steps in public policy needed to realize both the clean energy and economic potential of offshore wind.
"Offshore wind is an excellent renewable energy source and this filing with PJM shows how serious we are about bringing commercial-scale offshore wind to Virginia, giving our customers what they have asked for – more renewable energy," Mark D. Mitchell, vice president of generation construction said in a statement. "Governor Ralph Northam has made it clear Virginia is committed to leading the way in offshore wind. We are rising to this challenge with this 2,600-megawatt commercial offshore wind development."
Dominion Energy is aggressively pursuing a clean energy future anchored by a 55% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. To accomplish this goal, the company is investing in solar and wind energy partnered with zero-carbon nuclear and low-carbon natural gas. The company also has planned investments in battery storage, pumped hydroelectric storage and other resources that can support the intermittent nature of solar and wind.
If approved, the project would be located in the 112,800 acres Dominion Energy currently is leasing from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, located 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va. Following filing with PJM, ocean survey work is expected to begin in 2020 and a construction and operations plan will be submitted in 2022.
Building on the deployment of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project in 2020, Dominion Energy plans to move forward with its commercial offshore wind project in three phases, each totaling 880 megawatts. The first phase of the buildout will support initial generation of wind energy by 2024. Additional phases will come online in 2025 and 2026, totaling more than 2,600 MW of energy, enough to power 650,000 homes during peak wind.
The company began construction in June on the 12-MW CVOW project, which is the first fully permitted wind project in U.S. federal waters. Dominion said they will leverage key learnings from the permitting, design and development of that project as it goes through a similar process for commercial offshore wind development.
Dominion expects to cut generating fleet carbon dioxide emissions 80% by 2050 and reduce methane emissions from its gas assets 50% by 2030.