BOEM Greenlights 12MW Wind Demo Offshore Virginia

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has paved the way for a 12MW offshore wind demonstration project in Virginia by approving the first Research Activities Plan (RAP) for a wind energy facility in U.S. federal waters.

The project, for which the final engineering review is pending, involves the installation and operation of two 6MW turbines and associated cabling to shore. Based on earlier coverage of the project’s progress, the turbines in question will come from GE, which took over Alstom’s power and grid businesses last year.

The project will provide better understanding of the wind potential, weather and other conditions relevant to generating power from wind turbines in the state waters, and allow gaining experience with new offshore wind technology, BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper said.

Governor Terry McAuliffe said: “This research project is the gateway to commercial development of offshore wind which will help diversify our Commonwealth’s energy mix and support our efforts to build a new Virginia economy.” 

A year ago, BOEM awarded a research lease to the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME), which partnered with Dominion Resources, Inc. to develop the 12MW Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP). The RAP was developed by DMME’s operator, Virginia Electric and Power Company (dba Dominion Resources, Inc.), and describes the proposed construction, operation, maintenance, and eventual decommissioning of the VOWTAP.

More on the VOWTAP project can be found on BOEM’s website.