RD475 - Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority Annual Report - November 8, 2017
2017 saw the reinvigoration of the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP) and the strongest evidence to date that European developers will bring investment dollars and lessons from their 10-year learning curve to the U. S. East Coast.
Dominion Energy partnered with Denmark’s Ørsted (formerly DONG Energy), the world leader in offshore wind development, to develop the “Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind" Project (CVOW) 24 nautical miles off Virginia Beach. CVOW will include two, 8 MW wind turbines located in the federal research lease area. The project is expected to be operational by the end of 2020. It would be only the second offshore wind project in the nation and the first owned by an electric utility; and it will be an important first step toward commercial-scale offshore wind development. Ørsted also is involved as a developer or co-developer for the 1,000 MW “Bay State Wind" project off Massachusetts and the 1,950 MW “Ocean Wind" project off New Jersey.
On March 16, 2017, BOEM held a competitive lease sale for the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area offshore North Carolina. The auction lasted 17 rounds. Avangrid Renewables, LLC which bid $9,066,650 was the winner of the 122,405-acre lease area. The lease was signed by BOEM on October 10, 2017. Avangrid Renewable is a subsidiary of Avangrid and part of the Iberdrola Group.
Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm, a 30-megawatt facility in Rhode Island state waters, began commercial operations in December 2016, becoming the first such power plant in the United States.
Developers have so far secured 12 offshore wind leases for federal waters from BOEM that can accommodate over 14GW of offshore wind off the coasts of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, New York and Virginia.
Zentech Inc. and Renewable Resources International announced plans to build the nation’s first Jones Act compliant offshore wind jack-up vessel on a U.S. built barge to provide the U.S. Offshore Wind Industry with a cost competitive marine logistic solution. The delivery of the vessel is expected by the end of 2018.