Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has signed ‘historic’ legislation committing the state to an enormous expansion of offshore wind, solar, onshore wind, and energy storage
The Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) calls for 73% or more of the state’s electricity to come from clean energy by 2035, with a target of 100% by 2050.
To drastically boost Virginia’s renewable energy production, initial milestones in the governor’s plan include generating 2.5 GW of offshore wind by 2026, part of an overall 5.2 GW by 2034, as well as 3,000 MW of solar and land-based wind by 2022.
To fulfil the offshore wind generation, Dominion Energy is developing what could be the largest offshore wind project in the US. The US$7.8Bn project would place 220 turbines 43 km off Virginia Beach, producing enough electricity to power 650,000 homes. Dominion aims to bring the project online by 2026.
Business Network for Offshore Wind president and chief executive Liz Burdock said, “Governor Northam is boldly boosting offshore wind as a new source of clean energy and well-paying jobs for Virginia.
“Offshore wind is a key part of meeting the state’s goal of 100% carbon-free electricity, something that is to be applauded and, I hope, replicated in other states.
“Dominion Energy’s 2.64-GW utility-scale offshore wind project positions the Commonwealth as a mid-Atlantic hub for offshore wind.
“This is coupled with Virginia’s December 2019 announcement to establish an Office of Offshore Wind, and up to US$40M to upgrade the Portsmouth Marine Terminal, in its 2020 budget to secure new investments in the offshore wind supply chain.
“While the world economy is slowed down, US offshore wind keeps moving. To date, states have now included 29 GW of offshore wind in legislation, firmly establishing a US market. The country will need these clean energy infrastructure projects to get our economy moving after the Covid-19 epidemic dissipates.”