Dominion Energy announced Jan. 30 received the last two major federal approvals it need to start construction of the 2.6-gigawatt Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, with completion anticipated in late 2026.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s final approval of CVOW's Construction and Operations Plan clears the way for starting work on what would be the largest offshore wind project in U.S. waters with 176 turbines across 113,000 acres of leased bottom. It comes after many months of  inflation, supply chain issues and other challenges forced other wind developers to withdraw from or re-bid project commitments  with other East Coast states.

Virginia is leading the way for offshore wind as we near the start of offshore construction for Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind,” Bob Blue, Dominion Energy's chair, president, and chief executive officer said in announcing the permit. “These regulatory approvals keep CVOW on time and on budget as we focus on our mission of providing customers with reliable, affordable and increasingly clean energy.”

Dominion and Virginia state officials have focused on how the CVOW project could make the Hampton Roads and Port of Virginia an epicenter for supporting offshore wind development along the East Coast.

So far more than 750 Virginia workers in Virginia have been employed on the project, according to Dominion. That includes almost 530 in the Hampton Roads region, including “redevelopment activities at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal, construction of the offshore wind Monitoring and Coordination Center, maritime provisioning, ship upkeep, heavy lift and rigging, cyber security, food service and hospitality,” according to Dominion. “More than 1,000 local jobs will be needed to support ongoing operations and maintenance of this facility after the project begins commercial operation.”

"In an important step forward, we are thrilled to see the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project receive two major approvals that will place the nation's largest offshore wind farm right off the coast of Virginia," Senator Mark Warner, Senator Tim Kaine and Representative Bobby Scott said in a joint statement.

"The progress on this project to date speaks volumes about the level of cooperation between the Biden administration, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Dominion Energy, and their commitment to the future of green energy in the Commonwealth. We look forward to continuing to work together to see this project through to the finish line."