Virginia Picked For $200M Offshore Wind Turbine Blade Facility

Siemens Gamesa will partner with Dominion Energy on the largest new renewable energy project in U.S., creating hundreds of new jobs in Portsmouth, VA.

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy will establish the first offshore wind turbine blade facility in the U.S. in Virginia, propelling construction of the country’s largest new renewable energy project.

Virginia-based Dominion Energy had previously selected the company as its partner for the energy generation project 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. Siemens Gamesa will lease more than 80 acres at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal and will build a facility to produce turbine blades supplying offshore wind projects in North America. The facility, combined with its operations and maintenance activities, will create a total of 310 new jobs, of which roughly 50 will be service jobs to support the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project. The project represents a total cost of $200 million, including over $80 million in investments for buildings and equipment at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal.

“Virginians want renewable energy, our employers want it, and Virginia is delivering it,” said Governor Ralph S. Northam. “The Commonwealth is joining these leading companies to create the most important clean-energy partnership in the United States. This is good news for energy customers, the union workers who will bring this project to life, and our business partners. Make no mistake: Virginia is building a new industry in renewable energy, with more new jobs to follow, and that’s good news for our country.”

Siemens Gamesa offshore wind turbine
Siemens Gamesa has been a pioneer and leader in the wind industry for more than 40 years. (Source: Siemens Gamesa)

The announcement comes two months to the day after Gov. Northam announced that Dominion Energy had agreed to lease 72 acres of the deep-water Portsmouth Marine Terminal as a staging and pre-assembly area for the foundations and turbines. Once fully constructed in 2026, Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project will generate enough clean, sustainable energy to power up to 660,000 homes at peak and avoid as much as 5 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, the company reports.

The announcement also comes 18 months after Gov. Northam signed into law the Virginia Clean Economy Act, cementing Virginia’s commitment to clean and renewable energy. The law sets a target for Dominion Energy to construct or purchase at least 5,200 megawatts of energy through offshore wind by 2034 and to achieve 100 percent carbon-free energy production by 2045.

“Offshore wind energy will create jobs and economic prosperity across the country, and with President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda, we’re showing that the United States is open for business on clean energy,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Virginia is helping lead the way to strengthen the nation’s domestic supply chains of renewable energy and keep energy prices affordable for American households as we strive for a cleaner future.”

Siemens Gamesa, a pioneer and leader in the wind industry, designs, builds, and delivers powerful and reliable wind energy solutions in close collaboration with its customers. The company has installed more than 110 GW across the world to provide access to clean, affordable, and sustainable energy.

“We at Siemens Gamesa have shown the offshore wind industry the way for over 30 years. Establishing the industry’s first dedicated offshore wind turbine blade facility in the United States proves again that we are leading the offshore revolution,” said Marc Becker, Chief Executive Officer of the Siemens Gamesa Offshore Business Unit. “The U.S. offshore market is a critical part of our overall global strategy, with our presence in Virginia playing a crucial and central role. Our investment – reaching triple-digit millions of U.S. dollars – would be energized by the strong collaboration with Dominion Energy and support of Virginia’s legislature and authorities.”

“Virginia is leading the way in offshore wind and using blades from this new facility in Hampton Roads on our Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project is a major win for the region,” said Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy Chair, President, and Chief Executive Officer. “It is great to see well-paying, clean energy jobs are on the horizon as an offshore wind supply chain develops here in Virginia.”

“Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy recognized early on what Virginia has to offer companies looking to invest in this country’s budding offshore wind industry: unparalleled coastal assets, comprehensive and cutting-edge infrastructure systems, and a robust workforce pipeline unlike any other on the East Coast,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This announcement is years in the making and takes the Commonwealth one step closer to becoming a national leader in offshore wind. We thank Siemens Gamesa for its commitment to Virginia and look forward to a long and productive partnership.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with The Port of Virginia, Dominion Energy, the City of Portsmouth, the Hampton Roads Alliance, and the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment (MEI) Project Approval Commission to secure the project for Virginia. The Commonwealth will support the project through MEI-approved Virginia Public Building Authority bonds of up to $17.1 million to support infrastructure improvements and site preparation required for the construction of the facility.

Support for job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System and other higher education partners, with funding support from the Northam administration and the Virginia General Assembly. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation.

“This announcement from Siemens Gamesa showcases the importance of Portsmouth and Hampton Roads as an offshore wind supply chain hub,” said Robert D. Moore, Portsmouth Economic Development Director and Deputy City Manager. “Virginia is ready and able to support all offshore wind needs, from manufacturing to skilled trades and beyond. We look forward to seeing the project come together and continue to grow renewable energy for generations to come.”

“Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy’s decision to establish an offshore wind blade facility at the Port of Virginia’s Portsmouth Marine Terminal is an important milestone for the U.S. offshore wind industry and for Hampton Roads,” said Doug Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hampton Roads Alliance. “Establishing a domestic supply chain is critical to the success of the industry. This facility will help anchor Virginia as an offshore wind supply chain hub and bring the potential for significant additional capital investment and job creation.”

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