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.”
Dominion Energy Virginia is about to map uncharted waters with a $300 million project to research the use of wind power off Virginia’s Atlantic coast to generate electricity for millions of homes and businesses in the state. “This is an important first step we know will lead us on a much longer journey,” Dominion CEO Thomas F. Farrell II said in a ceremony at the Nauticus museum Friday.
“It’s time for Virginia to take significant steps forward to secure our clean energy future, and I look forward to working with BVG Associates to establish Virginia as the prime location for the offshore wind industry, from the supply chain to the full build-out of Virginia’s offshore wind resources,” said Governor Ralph Northam.
“Our [consultant] selection will assist Virginia in its aggressive pursuit of offshore wind supply chain and service industry business interests,” said John Warren, director of Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, in a statement Monday. “We are excited to work with a team of experts with global experience on this long-term economic development opportunity.”
The 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. A channel that is equipped to handle two-way vessel traffic increases the pace of commerce and makes way for the expeditious movement of Navy vessels in a time of need.
Governor Ralph Northam announced the launch of Build Virginia, an initiative that will connect workers throughout the Commonwealth with training and employment opportunities in the skilled trades. This effort will initially focus on helping jobseekers and employers in Virginia’s shipbuilding industry, but will ultimately include resources relating to other growing industries including construction and advanced manufacturing.
“Virginia has great assets,” [Business Network for Offshore Wind executive director Liz] Burdock said, adding that she could envision the Hampton Roads area evolving into a hub for fabricating steel turbine foundations. Her nonprofit, founded in 2012, focuses on beefing up the U.S. supply chain up and down the East Coast.
The budget about to be signed by Gov. Ralph Northam includes $350 million to kick-start a major dredging project in the shipping channel. If the project goes forward, shipping channels in the port of Hampton Roads will go from 50 feet to 55 feet in some places, surpassing Los Angeles, the busiest port in the nation. A Northam spokeswoman said the expansion would increase the port’s capacity by 40 percent or, put another way, 1 million more containers.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced May 22 the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy was looking for proposals. Hampton Roads – with its port infrastructure and workforce – was touted by Northam as an ideal location for wind energy. “Virginia should be the prime location for the offshore wind industry, from the supply chain to the full build-out of our offshore wind assets off the coast,” Northam said in the release.
Orsted’s Thomas Brostrom: “Virginia has the chance to leverage its port assets, high-quality workforce and favorable business climate to become a major hub for the supply chain. However, this must be coupled with strong public policy signals from state and local leaders that this industry is valued.”
Dominion Energy is reviving plans for an offshore wind energy project 27 miles east of Virginia Beach in a move it hopes will set the stage to make the Hampton Roads region a national leader in a still-developing technology. The company hopes to have two wind turbines — “taller than the Washington Monument” as CEO chief executive Tom Farrell put it — online by the end of 2020.