Virginia's East Coast Advantage
Virginia’s Hampton Roads region offers a number of unique competitive advantages over other offshore wind business locations on the East Coast. The Virginia Offshore Wind Team is working with BVG Associates on an opportunity analysis to illustrate Virginia’s existing advantages, which will assist offshore wind supply chain companies and other decision makers in their due diligence process. This analysis will articulate why Virginia offers the greatest chance for business success and low exposure to risk. It will also define factors important to industry and decision makers and address how Virginia can demonstrate that it is the location of choice for the offshore wind supply chain.
CNBC ranks Virginia as the fourth top state in the nation and the first on the East Coast for business. Virginia leads the way in education and workforce development to support its thriving economy.
Strategic Geographic Location
With commercial offshore wind leases located off the coasts of NJ, DE, MD, VA, and NC at a travel time of less than 20 hours by installation vessels traveling at 10 knots, Virginia’s port assets are strategically located in the Mid-Atlantic with direct open access.
Unmatched Port Infrastructure
As the second largest on the East Coast in tonnage and the third largest in container volume, Virginia’s ports have the ability to handle any type of cargo. Virginia is one of the few states offering “plug in and play” port facilities to the supply chain.
Hampton Roads enjoys open shipping channels and navigational flexibility eliminating maritime congestion as a concern. The Port of Virginia is the deepest port on the East Coast and recently gained approval for a dredging project will take the channels to 55 feet deep and widen them in select areas to allow for two-way traffic of ultra-large containerships.
Progressive Energy Policy Stance
In a bipartisan fashion, Virginia’s legislature passed the Grid Transformation and Security Act in 2018, which deems 5,000 MW of solar and wind energy generation to be in the public interest.
Unrestricted Air Draft Waterways
Virginia port facilities have direct access to sea with no overhead obstacles to impede the shipping of large and upright infrastructure and components, an advantage that differentiates it from every other East Coast state.
High-Quality Maritime Workforce
Hampton Roads boasts a civilian and military maritime labor force unmatched by any other East Coast state. Its proximity to the largest naval base in the world presents the opportunity to hire retiring military personnel for high-skilled offshore wind jobs.
Abundant Waterfront Land and Infrastructure
Virginia’s ports offer existing dock capacity and ample on-water marshaling areas. The Virginia coastline is geographically rich with waterfront properties and development or redevelopment opportunities.
America’s Largest Shipbuilding Industry
Hampton Roads is home to the largest shipbuilding market in the United States. This provides numerous advantages in existing physical and workforce assets. Unmatched infrastructure and workforce resources for design, construction and maintenance of vessel and other marine infrastructure are well developed, diverse and flexible — including capacity for the construction of new specialized vessel and modification of existing vessels.