Siemens Gamesa to build blade facility in Virginia

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 25/10/2021 Siemens Gamesa
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (Siemens Gamesa) has held a launch ceremony with representatives from state and local government authorities and wind industry partners in Virginia for what will be the first offshore wind turbine blade facility in the United States.

It was revealed that Siemens Gamesa will develop more than 80 acres/32 hectares at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal in Portsmouth, Virginia upon execution of a firm order for the 2.6 GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial Project with Dominion Energy. Representing a cost of more than $200 million dollars, the facility would perform finishing of patented Siemens Gamesa Offshore IntegralBlades. Siemens Gamesa stated that approximately 260 jobs at the facility are expected to be created when fully operational. Also, Siemens Gamesa intends to create around 50 service jobs to provide operations and maintenance services for the
Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) Commercial Project.

Furthermore, to enable the blade facility, Siemens Gamesa entered a land lease agreement with the Virginia Port Authority, supported by Virginia state incentives for site improvements. Immediately upon becoming operational, the facility is expected to support deliveries to the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial Project.

“We at Siemens Gamesa have shown the offshore wind industry the way for over 30 years. Establishing the industry’s first dedicated offshore wind turbine blade facility in the United States proves again that we are leading the offshore revolution. The U.S. offshore market is a critical part of our overall global strategy, with our presence in Virginia playing a crucial and central role. Our multimillion US-dollar investment has been energized by the strong collaboration with Dominion Energy and support of Virginia’s legislature and authorities,”
stated Marc Becker, CEO of the Siemens Gamesa Offshore Business Unit.

Siemens Gamesa stated that it will look to potentially expand the facility if awarded future projects in the region, creating additional jobs in the future.

“As Congress considers taking historic action on climate, this facility evidences that offshore wind can create significant new manufacturing activity and quality jobs to American communities,”
said Steve Dayney, Siemens Gamesa’s Head of Offshore North America. “We are hopeful this commitment will lead to further action by federal and state policy makers to establish policies to provide long term certainty and help sustain the competitiveness of this facility in the global marketplace for decades to come.”

“Virginia is leading the way in offshore wind and using blades from this new facility in Hampton Roads on our Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project is a major win for the region,”
said Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer. “It is great to see well-paying, clean energy jobs are on the horizon as an offshore wind supply chain develops here in Virginia."

“The Port of Virginia is proud to be able to help with the development of an entirely new industry that will spur job growth, drive our economy and create the US East Coast’s offshore-wind logistics hub right here in Portsmouth,”
said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “The industry is going to be closely watching Virginia, and this port, and we welcome the interest. We have a very unique opportunity to set ourselves apart by being at the forefront of this movement to create clean, renewable energy along the East Coast. We welcome Siemens Gamesa and are looking forward to a long and productive relationship.”

“Virginians want renewable energy, our employers want it, and Virginia is delivering it,”
said Governor Ralph S. Northam. “The Commonwealth is joining these leading companies to create the most important clean-energy partnership in the United States. This is good news for energy customers, the union workers who will bring this project to life, and our business partners. Make no mistake: Virginia is building a new industry in renewable energy, with more new jobs to follow, and that’s good news for our country.”

Dominion Energy's 2,640 MW
Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind commercial scale project (CVOW) preferred supplier agreement remains subject to certain conditions including Dominion Energy’s final investment decision, governmental permitting, and other required approvals. The final number of SG 14-222 DD offshore wind turbines intended to be used likewise remains to be determined.

CVOW is the largest planned offshore wind farm in the United States. It is expected to provide power for 660,000 homes. In July, 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.