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United States

Dominion looks to obtain entire Virginian offshore lease

UNITED STATES: Virginia's largest utility Dominion Virginia Power has told the federal government it wants to obtain leases to an offshore area with the potential to generate approximately 1.5-2GW of electricity.

The official expression of interest was the entire 113,000 acres the government is making available approximately 24 miles off the Virginia coast.

In February, Dominion announced it intended to develop between 500MW and 2GW offshore in phases starting at 100 turbines and eventually moving up to 400.

Dominion has already received a two-year, $500,000 grant from the US Department of Energy with the aim of finding innovative ways to reduce the cost of offshore wind generation by 25%.

If awarded a lease, Dominion said it would conduct detailed site assessment activities, including the erection of a meteorological tower to study wind strength and patterns.

The leasing area is divided into 19 whole blocks — each three-by-three miles — and 13 partial ones.

Dominion said it nominated all of the lease blocks so it would be positioned to propose a project with beneficial economies of scale. This is because navigational and environmental studies may further limit suitable areas for development.

Dominion is likely to face competition from developer Apex Offshore Wind. Last year, it signed a partnership deal with shipping company Maersk to develop offshore wind projects in US waters.

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