wind turbines

Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind

The Green Energy Capital of the East Coast

By Kelsey Thomas

Something is definitely in the water in Virginia Beach. In fact, that something is so powerful that it is expected to provide energy for up to 660,000 homes, create at least 1,100 jobs and bring the region closer to achieving our net-zero emission goals. Virginia Beach is now home to the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Farm, owned by Dominion Energy, that has giant wind turbines stationed 27 miles off the coast.

The Program
Currently two turbines stand in the Atlantic, towering at 600 feet above the water line and an additional 201 feet underwater and below the ocean floor, making them impressively taller than the Washington Monument. The pilot program is expected to host 180 turbines by 2026 that stand at 800 feet above the water line and will produce 14 MW of electricity each, according to Dominion Energy’s eastern region policy director, Bonita Harris.

The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project is committed to delivering clean and renewable energy and avoiding carbon dioxide emissions. While this is only the second offshore wind project in the nation, it is the largest and the first wind farm in federal waters and the only one to be owned and operated by a United States utility company (Dominion Energy). 

The Perks
It’s no surprise that the project plays a major role in steering us in the right direction environmentally. With all 180 expected turbines, 8.8 million MW of wind power per year will be generated to the grid, all with zero carbon emissions. That means greener and cleaner air. 

The location of the turbines in the ocean also brings the benefit of more marine life, attracting fish and the development of marine life on the structures, further boosting the recreational fishing communities that are so vital to Virginia Beach. 

The project even brings an incredible number of new jobs to the area, as about 150 full-time Dominion Energy employees will be needed to operate the wind turbines. It is also expected that there will be an annual average of 900 additional jobs for the construction and 1,100 new jobs for the operation, according to the Magnum Economics Study commissioned by the Hampton Roads Alliance. 

Locals and tourists alike can marvel over the sight of the giant towers when they venture out on the open waters by boat or on a tour to see the incredible phenomenon. With the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Farm living in the Atlantic, it’s safe to say that Virginia Beach is destined to become the green energy capital of the East Coast.

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