On March 24 Governor Terry McAulliffe announced that Virginia is the first state to receive a wind energy research lease from the United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).
Information collected from this research will improve understanding of the effectiveness of wind as a source of energy. The Commonwealth applied for the research lease in 2013 and has named Dominion Virginia Power as the designated lease operator. Execution of the 30-year lease is an important step in the project to allow Dominion to construct and operate the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP), a grid-connected, offshore wind demonstration project consisting of two Alstom 6-megawatt turbines to be located approximately 24 nautical miles east of the Virginia Beach shoreline. (One megawatt provides power for approximately 250 homes.) The intent of VOWTAP is to demonstrate successful installation and generation of power 24 nautical miles offshore, validate the estimated wind resource potential in the lease area, identify inefficiencies and gaps in offshore wind development, and utilize a previously untested regulatory process established by BOEM.
Future commercial wind energy development projects that will result from VOWTAP research are expected to create several thousand jobs in Virginia and add to the development of domestic clean energy resources in the United States. Virginia is well positioned along the Mid-Atlantic coast to become the central hub to support wind power development planned in Virginia and other states to the north and south.
VACo Contact: Larry Land, CAE | Source: Governor’s Press Release, March 24, 2015