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Virginia offshore wind project marks a regulatory milestone

(Marine Log) Dominion Energy reports that its Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project reached a major regulatory milestone today when the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced that it had completed its environmental analysis of the 2.6-gigawatt project planned off the Virginia Beach coast.

The Notice of Availability for the final EIS will officially publish in the Federal Register on Friday, September 29, 2023, though it is already accessible on the BOEM website.

“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.”

Dominion Energy says that, as the largest offshore wind project under development in the U.S., Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind 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.

“The completion of our environmental review marks another step towards a clean energy future—one that benefits communities and co-exists with other ocean users,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “The best available science and knowledge shared by tribes, other government agencies, local communities, ocean users, industry, environmental organizations and others informed the analyses contained in this document, and we look forward to continued engagement with all of our partners and key stakeholders as we proceed with next steps.”

BOEM plans to issue a Record of Decision on whether to approve the project this fall.

Source: https://www.marinelog.com/offshore/virginia-offshore-wind-project-marks-a-regulatory-milestone/

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