US-based energy producer and distributor Dominion Energy has secured the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) approval for its 2.6GW Coastal Virginia offshore wind (CVOW) project.

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has granted a favourable Record of Decision to complete the environmental review for the CVOW project.

With the environmental approval in place, Dominion Energy is allowed to start onshore construction later this year, with offshore construction scheduled for early 2024.

The 2.6GW CVOW project is expected to generate adequate clean, renewable energy to power up to 660,000 homes, once it is fully operational in late 2026.

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) director Elizabeth Klein said: “Today’s announcement is the result of hard work by the BOEM team and our ongoing conversations with Tribes, federal agency partners, state and local leaders, ocean users, industry and others to help inform the development of this project every step of the way.

“We look forward to continuing to work together to responsibly develop this clean energy resource and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.”

CVOW is a large-scale commercial wind project, located around 23.5 nautical miles (43.5km) offshore Virginia Beach.

The offshore project is expected to create around 900 jobs each year during the construction phase and support around 1,100 jobs during its operations phase.

In addition, the project brings economic development to Virginia and supports investments in the Virginia coastal region as a hub for offshore wind development.

The Record of Decision sums up the findings of the Final Environmental Impact Statement, and includes extensive studies, evaluations, and responses to public comments.

It also includes measures taken offshore to minimise impacts on marine life, and onshore to minimise impacts on natural and cultural resources and communities.

Dominion Energy said it has with state and federal agencies, Tribal Nations, industry groups, and environmental communities to avoid, minimise, and mitigate potential impacts.

Dominion Energy chair, president and CEO Bob Blue said: “Receiving a favourable Record of Decision from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is a monumental achievement for Dominion Energy and the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind team.

“More than a decade of work has gone into the development, design and permitting of CVOW.

“Offshore wind is a vital part of our strategy to provide our customers with a diverse fuel mix that delivers reliable, affordable and increasingly clean energy.”