Gov. Northam tours offshore wind farm survey vessel

NORFOLK, Va. – Virginia Governor Ralph Northam joined Dominion Energy and representatives from Orsted North America to tour a survey vessel used for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project Friday afternoon.

“There’s an amazing amount of technology on there," Governor Northam explained. "Sonar devices where they can map the bottom, look for different emissions, look at marine life. They pretty much have it all.”

The ocean floor survey vessel will conduct the final geophysical surveys necessary before the project can begin off the coast of Virginia Beach.

"It's gonna  go out and survey the area and make sure there’s no underwater problems putting the structures at risk," Thomas Farrell, Chairman, President and CEO of Dominion Energy, said.

According to a press release sent from the Dominion Energy, The CVOW Project would be just the second offshore wind project in the United States and the first in federal waters. The demonstration project could open the door to long-term commercial wind development off Virginia’s coast, with the potential for up to 2,000 megawatts of energy – enough to power half a million homes.

“We are trying to get away from fossil fuels," the Governor told News 3. "That’s not gonna happen overnight. Still have a nuclear presence here in Virginia. Gas still has some hold. The more we can work toward renewable energy, especially solar wind, I think the better for us.”

CVOW was made possible by the Grid Transformation and Security Act of 2018, Virginia’s landmark energy reform legislation that became law on July 1.

The two turbines should start producing electricity by late 2020.

If this pilot program is successful, the plan is to build 200 turbines off the coast.

Dominion said doing so will have a huge economic impact.

“Building the wind farm and then maintenance on the wind farm, tenders and workers it’s gonna be a lot of offshoot that comes out of this for economic developments assuming we’re able to prove out the case to our regulators," Farrell explained.

The pilot project will cost $300 million.