Virginia: Building A Green Future

A landmark wind energy project, sizable vertical farm, and new LEGO Group Factory powered by green energy are in development.

By Anne Cosgrove
From the September/October 2022 Issue

In August, Virginia’s State Corporation Commission (SCC) approved an application by Dominion Energy Virginia for cost recovery associated with its proposed Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project (CVOW). The 2.6 GW project consists of 176 wind turbines, each designed to generate 14.7 megawatts, to be located approximately 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The project is expected to have a capital cost of $9.8 billion and will likely be the largest capital investment, and single largest project, in the history of Dominion Energy Virginia.

In August, the Commission also approved the electric interconnection and transmission facilities to connect CVOW reliably with the existing transmission system.

The Commission approved a revenue requirement of $78.702 million for the rate year of September 1, 2022, to August 31, 2023, to be recovered through a new rate adjustment clause (Rider OSW). Over the projected 35-year lifetime of the project, for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month, Rider OSW is projected to result in an average monthly bill increase of $4.72 and a peak monthly bill increase of $14.22 in 2027. The rate adjustment clause is effective for usage on and after September 1, 2022.

In 2020, the Virginia General Assembly enacted the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) that declared in order to meet the Commonwealth’s clean energy goals prior to December 31, 2034, the construction or purchase by a public utility of one or more wind generation facilities off the state’s Atlantic shoreline is in the public interest.

Following a full proceeding, the Commission found, as directed by the General Assembly, that construction of CVOW is in the public interest.

As part of its order, the SCC granted approval for approximately 17 miles of new transmission lines and other onshore infrastructure needed to deliver the clean, renewable energy offshore to homes and businesses across Virginia.

Richmond Virginia
Downtown Richmond, VA (Photo: Adobe Stock/ Kevin Ruck)

The project represents a significant stride toward the VCEA’s goal of a 100% clean electric grid by 2045. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2022, the Commonwealth’s total capacity is approximately 28 GW.

As stated by Dominion Energy: “Offshore wind’s economic development and jobs benefits are transformative for Hampton Roads and the Commonwealth, including diverse communities. CVOW could create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs during construction and more than a thousand during operations, while attracting companies to make investments to make Virginia a hub for offshore wind.”

Projects Popping Up Around The Commonwealth

Fairfax County, VA continued to establish itself as a tech hub, with more than 17,000 tech companies in the area, and a growing tech workforce in the Washington, DC region.

Leidos, Freddie Mac, and Capital One are among 10 Fortune 500 corporate headquarters located in Fairfax County and in recent years, other leading global companies have relocated their headquarters to Northern Virginia. In May, Boeing announced its headquarter relocation from Chicago to Arlington, VA with plans to develop a research and technology hub. Shortly after, in June, Raytheon Technologies announced it would also establish its global headquarters in Arlington.