Offshore wind — and the ability to serve as a national-level power generation, distribution and logistical Atlantic coast hub for this market — is an opportunity that should not be missed. As we have done with port modernization and sea-level rise, ODU has the technical, logistical and academic expertise to leverage a group of public and private sector leaders to capture this potential.
Gov. Ralph Northam is pushing a plan for Virginia — and Hampton Roads — to become a supply chain and service hub for offshore wind energy development in the Atlantic. The plan is part of a “roadmap” that the governor’s office recently released on ways to attract investors, developers and manufacturers as the offshore wind industry gathers steam in the U.S.
Governor Ralph Northam released a report providing a roadmap for Virginia to develop an offshore wind supply chain to serve emerging offshore wind projects along the East Coast. The report analyzed Virginia’s potential strategic role in the rapidly emerging US offshore wind industry. The recommendations include establishing a regional supply chain collaborative with neighboring states, creating a Virginia Office for Offshore Wind, soliciting anchor tenant suppliers, and expanding workforce development opportunities.
So, what appears to be a high cost for the CVOW project actually paves the way for stable, lower costs as the much larger wind farms come online over the long haul. Last, let’s not forget the important benefits of economic development and thousands of high-skilled local jobs, and the mitigation of sea level rise and coastal storm surges, a critical issue for Norfolk and other oceanfront communities.
CVOW supporters agree that investing in a pilot project with a higher per-kilowatt-hour cost but lower overall capital expenditures could lead to more rapid development of larger, less expensive offshore wind farms in the Southeast. Indeed, costs have dropped significantly over the last several years mainly due to the scaling up of the industry in Europe and better management of project development risk.
CVOW represents a unique opportunity to translate these lessons learned into cost-savings for ratepayers, potential opportunities for the Commonwealth’s universities and, ultimately, a full-scale buildout of Virginia’s offshore wind resources. Full buildout will grow the Commonwealth’s economy and diversify its portfolio of electricity generation sources.
The pressure to make the turbines happen isn't just coming from the Legislature — it's also coming from the Democratic governor, Ralph Northam. A reworked energy master plan published by his administration's energy officials this month calls for the state to install 2 GW of offshore wind over a decade.
Governor Ralph Northam released the 2018 Virginia Energy Plan, which provides a strategic vision for the Commonwealth’s energy policy over the next 10 years. With a focus on modernizing the electric grid and promoting innovative technologies, the plan sets goals for renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, and electric vehicles.
Northam cited Virginia’s location and deep expertise in shipbuilding and other trades as reasons why it could also support manufacturing. He added that 14,000 jobs could ultimately support the industry in Virginia. Northam said Virginia “has a clear opportunity to act as a change agent in driving the development of U.S. offshore wind.”
Hampton Roads businesses and our economy will benefit tremendously from offshore wind. Thousands of jobs will be created in industries like manufacturing, construction, maintenance and logistics. Additionally, offshore wind will inject millions of dollars in local communities that will help create healthier, more prosperous communities. This can be a significant step forward for our region.
Governor Northam announced Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority appointments, including new members: Hayes Framme of Ørsted, Laura McKay of the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program and Mark Mitchell of Dominion Energy. Governor Northam also reappointed Phil Green of Green Powered Technology LLC.
“The well-paying jobs of the 21st century are in what we call ‘new collar’ sectors—those that require skills, but not necessarily a four-year college degree. In order for our Commonwealth to maintain a highly-skilled, attractive workforce we need to make sure that every student has the opportunity to create a successful future,” said Governor Northam. “With this initiative we will help prepare young Virginians with the skills and training that employers are looking for and provide critical support to our youth as they start to build careers.”
Dominion Energy has set course for a massive new expansion of solar and wind energy. Under the provisions of the Grid Transformation and Security Act, which Gov. Ralph Northam signed into law in March, we have committed to putting 3,000 megawatts of new solar and wind generation — enough to power 750,000 homes — under development or in operation by the beginning of 2022, making Virginia a national leader in green energy.
“The announcement today represents a significant step toward harnessing Virginia’s offshore wind energy resource and the many important economic benefits that this industry will bring to our Commonwealth,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “This offshore wind demonstration project will provide critical information to stakeholders and will position Virginia as a leader as we work to attract job opportunities in the offshore wind supply chain and service industries.”