Virginia primed for offshore wind top spot

Virginia’s unique infrastructure and geographical advantages are key to developing 2GW of offshore wind by 2028 and turning the Commonwealth into a national leader in the growing US offshore wind industry during the next decade, according to a new report released by BVG Associates.

The “Vision for Virginia Offshore Wind” report comes on the heels of recent legislation setting a statewide goal of building 5GW of renewable energy by 2028.

The report is said to present a realistic and immediate opportunity for Virginia to establish itself as a hub for the entire US East Coast offshore wind supply chain.

By developing 2GW of offshore wind during the next decade, Virginia can reduce its reliance on out-of-state electricity by 30% and create thousands of local jobs.

The report recommends Virginia’s key decision makers to quickly develop a “master plan” that creates specific milestones and timelines for the Virginia offshore wind industry if the state is to achieve the realistic goal of developing 2GW of offshore wind by 2028.

Many states on the Atlantic seaboard have signaled interest in developing offshore wind. However, Virginia’s skilled workforce, proximity to market, transportation resources, and coastal and grid infrastructure provide the Commonwealth unique competitive advantages that few other states have, the report said.

Last spring, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) issued a request for proposal to find a strategic partner to help identify potential approaches to develop Virginia’s offshore wind supply chain. This past August, DMME chose BVG to assist in its pursuit of identifying ways to unlock Virginia’s offshore wind potential.

“There is significant interest in developing offshore wind in Virginia,” said John Warren, Director of Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. “This report is an important step in recognizing the path to developing offshore wind in the Commonwealth and the benefits it can unlock. This administration is committed to developing more renewable energy and sees offshore wind as important part of Virginia’s energy future.”

Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam will join Virginia businesses leaders, elected officials, and clean energy advocates on 21 September at the Virginia Offshore Wind Executive Summit where speakers and participants will discuss the significant opportunity for offshore wind development in Virginia.