Virginia Positions to Become a National Leader in the Offshore Wind Industry
RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam congratulates the Business Network for Offshore Wind and the attendees of its International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum, a three-day global conference held in the Virginia capital with over 1,300 attendees. The conference marked the culmination of months-long efforts between the Commonwealth and many international and national partners in the public and private sectors to position Virginia as a national leader in the offshore wind industry. More than 620 companies from the United States and overseas were represented at the conference.
“This has been a historic week for Virginia, and I appreciate the Business Network for Offshore Wind and everyone who attended the International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum,” Governor Northam said. “Virginia is very supportive of offshore wind and partners around the world have recognized our commitment, including Avangrid Renewables, the Basque Country and Dominion Energy. We are very excited about the future of the offshore wind industry in Virginia. “
This week, Governor Northam also announced that the Port of Virginia has reached an agreement to lease part of the Portsmouth marine terminal from Dominion Energy. This accelerates the largest commercial development of clean offshore wind energy in the United States. Dominion Energy will use 72 acres of the Portsmouth Multipurpose Marine Terminal for deepwater ocean freight as a prep and pre-assembly area for the construction of a 2,600 megawatt offshore wind farm. The Virginia Wind Project will produce enough megawatts of clean, renewable energy to power up to 660,000 homes.
The Business Network for Offshore Wind hosts the International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum every year. The Network is a non-profit educational organization. Its mission is to develop the offshore wind renewable energy industry and its accompanying supply chain. The network partners with industry leaders and governments at all levels to create jobs and deliver benefits to local economies while ensuring a clean and profitable energy portfolio. The first attendees of the International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum also had the opportunity to tour the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Farm and see the United States’ largest maritime industrial base in Norfolk.
Virginia’s vision for offshore wind began in the early 2000s, when the Commonwealth obtained an offshore wind lease area. Two six-megawatt Siemens Gamesa wind turbines were installed in 2020 by Dominion Energy and Ørsted, the first offshore wind project located in federal waters and the first research turbines installed in the United States.
The Notice of Intent for Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Business Project and Avangrid Renewables’ Kitty Hawk Offshore Project were released last month, marking the first major step in the federal approval process for these projects. large-scale commercial wind turbines. Kitty Hawk has the potential to provide Virginia with 2,500 megawatts of clean energy. Construction of the 800 megawatt first stage is expected to begin in 2024. It is expected that this will create 800 jobs regionally and have an impact of $ 2 billion from 2021 to 2030. Electricity from the Kitty Hawk project will come ashore in Virginie to then be transported throughout the regional distribution network.
Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia entered into the Southeast and Mid Atlantic Regional Transformation Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Resources in October 2020. The three states have committed to cooperate on promotion, development and expansion of offshore wind energy.
During this year’s International Offshore Wind Partnership Forum, Trade and Commerce Secretary Brian Ball signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Minister of Economic Development of the Basque Country of Spain, Arantxa Tapia, who officially recognized the common interests in the development of renewable energies, energy efficiency and energy storage technologies. Iberdrola, located in the Basque Country, is the majority shareholder of Avangrid Renewables, the company that secured the lease for the Kitty Hawk offshore wind lease area. Innovative partnerships like these demonstrate the Commonwealth’s commitment to working with government and private partners in the offshore wind industry.
“Virginia’s comprehensive infrastructure systems, forward-looking energy policies, and commitment to industry-wide collaboration have placed the Commonwealth at the forefront of offshore wind in this country.” , said Secretary of Commerce and Commerce Brian Ball. “It has been a pleasure working with so many great partners in this space, and we look forward to continuing this work for the foreseeable future.”
“Virginia is a forerunner in the development of American offshore wind power”, said Liz Burdock, CEO and President of The Business Network for Offshore Wind. “The use of the Portsmouth Marine Terminal demonstrates the Commonwealth’s continued commitment to developing a robust offshore wind industry and supporting local and regional business development. Offshore wind continues to prove that it is a resilient, tax-reliable industry providing solutions that will benefit Virginia’s economy, spur innovation and provide opportunities for businesses of all sizes, by particular to minority and women owned businesses.
The ports of Virginia have the existing infrastructure, deep channel roads and the absence of overhead drafts that will enable the national offshore wind assembly and its manufacturing supply chain hub to prosper. With increased support from the federal level and the Virginia General Assembly, the offshore wind industry is poised to grow exponentially. The Commonwealth has acted and will continue to act decisively to build on this support.
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