- Published: 30 May 2016 30 May 2016
Dominion Virginia Power is assessing options for its proposed offshore wind demonstration project in light of an announcement that the U.S. Department of Energy is withdrawing US$40 million in funding. Dominion plans to consult with other members of the project team, known as the Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP), as well as participants in a stakeholder group of government, research and community representatives, before deciding on next steps.
The VOWTAP project would install two 6MW wind turbines in federal waters about 24 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va. Current bids for constructing the project range from about US$ 300 million to US$ 380 million, compared with an initial estimate of about US$ 230 million. DOE made its decision after Dominion could not guarantee an in-service date for the project earlier than 2020. While the company has been working toward an earlier date, there are too many uncertainties to meet DOE's request. These include the high cost of the project, the inability to get firm construction contracts, and the increasing complexities of gaining regulatory approval for energy infrastructure projects. VOWTAP's other partners are GE; KBR,; Keystone Engineering, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Newport News Shipbuilding and the Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute.