United States

United States

US starts environmental checks for 3GW Virginia offshore wind

Federal agencies have launched early checks for several large-scale US offshore wind farms in recent months

Siemens Gamesa is due to provide turbines for the project under a preferred supplier agreement, though the exact model has not yet been specified
Siemens Gamesa is due to provide turbines for the project under a preferred supplier agreement, though the exact model has not yet been specified

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The US’ Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is due to begin the environmental review of Dominion Energy’s planned up to 3GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project.

It follows similar environmental reviews starting for a series of US offshore wind farms and the country’s first large-scale offshore wind farm getting the final go-ahead under the Biden-Harris administration.

Utility and developer Dominion Energy plans to use up to 205 turbines, with a combined capacity of up to 3GW, at its Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project 43.5km from Virginia Beach.

Siemens Gamesa is due to provide turbines for the project under a preferred supplier agreement, though the exact model has not yet been specified.

On 2 July BOEM will publish a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) in the federal register. This will open a 30-day public consultation period lasting until 2 August.

During this period, BOEM will hold three virtual public scoping meetings to help determine potential impacts to the environment, reasonable alternatives to the project and any mitigation measures to be analysed in the EIS.

During development and construction, Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind could create an average of 900 jobs between 2020 and 2026 and a maximum of 1,500 jobs between 2024 and 2025, according to BOEM. During operations and maintenance, the project could support 1,500 long-term jobs.

Virginia aims to source power from 5.2GW of offshore wind capacity by 2034.

BOEM recently reached an agreement with the North Atlantic Division of the United States Army Corps of Engineers to give federal agencies additional scientific and technical resources to evaluate offshore wind projects.

CVOW will be one of the first wind farms to undergo this new federal permitting process, which was designed to accelerate offshore wind development in the US.

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