Dominion, Orsted to install first offshore wind turbines in US federal waters

US utility Dominion Energy and renewable energy firm Orsted have announced they are on track with the implementation of an offshore wind energy pilot project in Virginia, despite disruptions to the global economy due to Coronavirus.

The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind energy pilot, comprising two 6MW turbines developed by Siemens Gamesa in Esbjerg, Denmark, is expected to be online by the end of this year to power 3,000 homes.

Onshore construction for the pilot project began last year in June to facilitate the interconnection of the turbines at a company substation near Camp Pendleton.

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Mark D. Mitchell, vice president of generation construction at Dominion Energy, said: “This is a monumental step toward the installation of the first offshore wind turbines in federal waters, which will deliver clean, renewable energy to our customers.

“The construction of these two turbines will help us reach our goal for net-zero emissions (2050) and position Virginia as a leader in offshore wind.”

Christoph Schorge, the CEO of EEW Group (developers of turbines’ monopiles, transition pieces and anode cages to be used as foundations for the project), said: “Even though this project consists of two monopiles and transition pieces, it has profound importance for the development of the US offshore wind market, as this is the first project that successfully has passed all phases of BOEM approval.

“This milestone will pave the way for large-scale commercial projects to follow.”

The pilot project was first announced more than two years ago and received approval in November 2018 from the State Corporation Commission.