Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Dominion Energy has achieved a significant milestone in the development of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project with the installation of the first monopile foundation. Situated approximately 29 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, this monumental feat marks a crucial step forward for the largest offshore wind farm under construction in the United States.

Installed by the Orion, DEME Group’s heavy lift vessel, the monopile foundation is a key component of the 2.6-gigawatt CVOW project. Once completed by late 2026, CVOW will feature 176 turbines capable of generating clean, renewable energy to power up to 660,000 homes. Moreover, the project is anticipated to yield fuel savings of $3 billion for customers during its initial decade of operation.

Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy’s Chair, President, and Chief Executive Officer, expressed pride in the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind team for their dedication in keeping the project on track and within budget. Emphasizing the project’s commitment to environmental protection, Blue highlighted the extensive precautions undertaken to safeguard marine species and the surrounding ecosystem.

Bill White, President of DEME Offshore US, echoed Blue’s sentiments, expressing pride in the partnership with Dominion Energy and emphasizing DEME’s expertise in efficiently installing CVOW’s massive monopiles. The project team, comprising skilled American union pile drivers, is poised to contribute to the success of the project and aid in delivering locally sourced energy to Virginia.

The monopile foundations, manufactured by global leader EEW SPC and staged at Portsmouth Marine Terminal, serve as vital support structures for the wind turbine generators. Installation will continue through the fall of 2024 and resume in May 2025, with a hiatus between November 1 and April 30 to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale during migration season.

To mitigate potential environmental impacts, measures such as the use of bubble curtains to reduce underwater soundwaves and the presence of Protected Species Observers onboard vessels have been implemented. These efforts underscore Dominion Energy’s commitment to responsible offshore wind development.

Beyond its environmental benefits, the CVOW project holds significant economic potential for Hampton Roads and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Over 800 Virginia-based workers, including nearly 670 in the Hampton Roads region, have been engaged in various aspects of the project, ranging from construction to maritime provisioning and cybersecurity. Looking ahead, ongoing operations and maintenance of the facility are expected to create over 1,000 local jobs, further bolstering the region’s economy.

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