Dominion Energy and Port of Virginia form lease agreement

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has announced that the Port of Virginia has reached an agreement to lease a portion of the Portsmouth Marine Terminal to Dominion Energy.

Under the agreement, Dominion Energy will use 72 acres of the deep-water, multi-use marine cargo Portsmouth Marine Terminal as a staging and pre-assembly area for the foundations and turbines that will be installed 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach as part of its
Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind commercial scale project.

“This announcement is yet another milestone toward making Virginia the national leader in offshore wind power,”
said Governor Northam. “The Commonwealth and Dominion Energy are standing together to promote clean energy, reduce carbon emissions, create jobs, and build a new American industry on the East Coast of the United States.”

“This location at the Port of Virginia is second to none,”
said chair, president and CEO of Dominion Energy Robert M. Blue. “It has deep water access, no overhead restrictions, a strong, experienced maritime workforce and sufficient space for these large wind infrastructure components. It is perfectly situated to serve the Virginia offshore wind project and grow the domestic supply chain needed to complete other offshore wind projects in the United States.”

The lease term is 10 years—valued at nearly $4.4 million annually—and includes an option for two five-year renewals. The lease agreement includes significant upgrades to ensure the terminal can handle the weight of the large components that will be deployed to build the offshore wind turbines. Once the components are loaded onto ships, the vessels will travel to the construction site 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach.

The agreement comes just 18 months after Governor Northam signed into law the Virginia Clean Economy Act, cementing Virginia’s commitment to clean and renewable energy. The law sets a target of 2034 for producing at least 5,200 MW of energy through offshore wind, and a target of 2045 for achieving 100 percent carbon-free energy production.

Negotiations accelerated in July, when the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners directed Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the VPA, to finalize the lease negotiation.

“For the last several years it has been known that The Port of Virginia, and specifically the Portsmouth Marine Terminal, is positioned to be the leading Mid-Atlantic logistics hub for the offshore wind industry,”
said Port of Virginia CEO Stephen Edwards. “This agreement capitalizes on PMT’s potential and solidifies Virginia’s place as the leader in this growing and competitive field. This port is ready to support Dominion Energy and all of the businesses and jobs that will ensure the success of offshore wind in Virginia.”

Dominion Energy's the 2,640 MW
Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind commercial scale project, is the largest planned offshore wind farm in the United States. It is expected to provide power for 660,000 homes. Last month, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued a “Notice of Intent” for the project. The Notice of Intent triggers a federal review of the project and preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement, which will take about two years.

Presently, Dominion Energy’s two-turbine
Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind pilot project is operating off of the coast of Virginia Beach. The 12 MW CVOW project is the first offshore wind project in US federal waters, and is positioned in a federal lease area about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. It features two Siemens Gamesa’s 6-MW SWT-6.0-154 wind turbines which have been operational since October 2020 . The pilot project was developed by Ørsted on behalf of American power and energy company will proceed Dominion Energy. Lessons learnt from the pilot project will be used to support Dominion Energy’s proposed commercial project, which is on track to commence construction in 2024.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.