Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issues Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project
Final EIS analyzes potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures of CVOW
CVOW remains on budget and on schedule; Dominion Energy expects to begin offshore construction in early 2024 and is expected to conclude in late 2026
RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Energy's Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project reached a major regulatory milestone today when the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced it has completed its environmental analysis of the 2.6-gigawatt project planned off the Virginia Beach coast.
The Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) reflects feedback from Tribal Nations, ocean users, local communities, the offshore wind industry and other interested stakeholders, and analyzes potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures associated with CVOW's construction. The Notice of Availability for the final EIS will publish in the Federal Register on Friday, September 29, 2023.
"The completion of CVOW's environmental review is another significant milestone to keep the project on time and on budget. Regulated offshore wind has many benefits for our customers and local economies – it's fuel free, emissions free and diversifies our fuel mix to maintain the reliability of the grid," said Bob Blue, Dominion Energy's chair, president and chief executive officer. "Today's announcement reinforces the confidence that the company, our vendors and our suppliers have in our project's completion, providing further motivation to maintain focus on delivering on time and on budget knowing we and our government partners continue to meet critical milestones."
As the largest offshore wind project under development in the United States, CVOW will produce enough carbon-free electricity for 660,000 Virginia homes and generate expected fuel savings of more than $3 billion for customers during the project's first 10 years of operation.
The EIS reflects public comments as well as extensive studies, evaluations and designs to maximize CVOW's environmental benefits and minimize potential impacts. This includes actions taken offshore to minimize impacts to marine life, such as North Atlantic right whales, and actions taken onshore to design and build a transmission route that avoids impacts to natural and cultural resources and environmental justice communities to the maximum extent possible.
Dominion Energy is proposing to construct 176 14.7-megawatt wind turbines and three offshore substations in a 112,800-acre commercial lease area located 27 miles off the Virginia Beach coast.
Offshore wind's economic development and jobs benefits are transformative for Hampton Roads and the Commonwealth, including diverse communities. CVOW is expected to create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs during construction and more than a thousand during operations, while attracting companies to make investments to make Virginia a hub for offshore wind development and support.
There are more than 750 Virginia-based workers – nearly 530 in the Hampton Roads region – currently engaged on the CVOW project or with other businesses supporting CVOW and future offshore wind development, including redevelopment work at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal, construction of the offshore wind Monitoring and Coordination Center, maritime provisioning, ship repairs, divers, heavy lift and rigging, cyber security, food service and hospitality.