US's largest offshore wind farm gets environmental approval

US utility Dominion Energy is one step closer to completing the permitting process for its 2.6GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project (CVOW) after it secured a key approval for the 176-turbine project.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) gave the project a favourable record of decision, and is now due to approve its construction and operations plan (COP) in January.

BOEM’s record of decision summarises findings of environmental reviews and lists actions Dominion must take to minimise impacts to marine life, as well as to nature and communities onshore.

Dominion also still needs to secure final permitting approvals at state and federal level. COP approval would enable Dominion to start offshore construction of the project’s 176 turbines and three substations.

The utility is due to start onshore construction later this year and aims to fully commission CVOW in 2026.