Dominion Energy is the owner and developer of the proposed Coastal Virginia offshore wind (CVOW) project. Image courtesy of Ramboll Group A/S.
The CVOW project broke ground in July 2019. Image courtesy of of Dominion Energy.
The CVOW pilot project is scheduled for commissioning in 2020. Image courtesy of of Dominion Energy.

The Coastal Virginia offshore wind (CVOW) project with a planned capacity of 2.6GW will be the biggest offshore wind farm in the US and one of the biggest in the world.

The wind farm is proposed to be developed in three phases of 880MW capacity each following the commissioning of a 12MW pilot project at the site. Dominion Energy is the owner and developer of the project.

The two-turbine pilot project being developed with an estimated investment of £230m ($300m) is expected to come online by the end of 2020.

Dominion Energy also expects to submit the construction and operation plan for the 2.6GW commercial wind farm to the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in 2020 and commence construction for the same in 2022.

Scheduled for completion in 2026, the massive offshore wind farm is expected to generate enough electricity for approximately 650,000 homes in 13 US states.

Location and site details

The CVOW pilot project is being developed in the US federal waters approximately 43km off the coast of Virginia Beach.

The commercial wind farm is proposed be developed on a112, 800-acre site adjacent to the pilot wind turbines. The land for the wind farm was leased by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (DMME) from BOEM in 2013.

Coastal Virginia offshore wind project background

CVOW was one of the seven offshore wind demonstration projects to receive funding from the U S Department of Energy (DOE) in 2012.

Previously known as the Virginia Offshore wind technology advancement project (VOWTAP), it was also one of the three projects to receive a second funding award for deployment activities from DOE in 2014.

Although the BOEM approval for the pilot project was obtained in March 2016, Dominion Energy submitted a research activities plan revision (RAPR) for the 12MW demonstration project in December 2017 which was approved by BOEM in June 2019.

The Port of Virginia announced a lease agreement to provide 40 acres to facilitate offshore construction works for the project in January 2020.

The US currently has only 30MW of installed offshore wind power capacity, compared to 20 GW in Europe. The CVOW project is expected to help the nation in meeting the goal of achieving 20GW of offshore wind power capacity by 2030.

Coastal Virginia offshore wind farm make up

The 12MW pilot wind farm will be equipped with two SWT-6.0-154 wind turbines of 6MW capacity each from Siemens Gamesa. It will also involve 46km of 33KV inter array and export cable, and an onshore substation.

Each 880MW phase of the 2.6GW commercial wind farm is expected to use more than 70 turbines from the same supplier. The exact model and the number of turbines are yet to be finalised.

The three phases of the project are scheduled for commissioning in 2024, 2025 and 2026 respectively.

Contractors involved

Dutch engineering and consulting company Ramboll was selected as the Owner’s Engineer to provide consultancy services for the 2.6GW Coastal Virginia offshore wind project in March 2020.

Danish energy company Orsted was awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the 12MW pilot project in 2017.

Orsted subcontracted Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy to supply two 6MW turbines for the pilot project in August 2018.

Dominion Energy also selected Siemens Gamesa as turbine supplier for the commercial-scale project in January 2020.

Seaway Offshore Cables along with Subsea 7 US has been contracted for the turnkey engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning (EPIC) of inner array and export cable system of the CVOW project.

Pipeshield, a Tekmar group company, was contracted to supply scour and cable protection for the offshore wind project in February 2020.