US utility Dominion Energy has confirmed plans to build a Jones Act-qualified offshore wind installation vessel and is doubling down on its already significant investment in building offshore windfarms.
In a first quarter conference call on 5 May, the company confirmed that it was part of a consortium formed to build the vessel which, it said, would work on behalf of leading offshore wind developers in the US market, not just on its own projects.
The company’s chief executive Thomas Farrell said the installation vessel would be capable of handling all existing and next-generation offshore wind turbines. He said funding is to be finalized among consortium participants. The vessel is expected to enter service in 2023.
Mr Farrell also said the company, which has started work on construction of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind demonstration project, which it expects to complete this year, could, in the long-term add another 2.6 GW project to its already-planned 2.6 GW commercial-scale project. The primary project components for the CVOW project recently arrived in the US, he said.
Mr Farrell said the utility’s long-term goal was to develop around 5.2 GW of offshore wind by 2035, which would be 100% utility-owned.
Subsea survey work is also underway for the first 2.6-GW project. Dominion plans to submit a construction and operation plan to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management by the end of 2020.
Mr Farrell said the company has also updated its capital investment programme for offshore wind from US$1.1Bn in its original 2019-23 plan. Investment in the period 2020-24 would now be in the order of US$3.5Bn.
Total potential investment in offshore wind by Dominion Energy between 2020 and 2035 could be in the order of US$8-17Bn.