RICHMOND, Va., May 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power has been awarded an additional $47 million from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to help fund the construction of a 12-megawatt demonstration project, consisting of two 6-megawatt offshore wind turbines on innovative substructures that will produce enough electricity to power up to 3,000 homes.
"This was a highly competitive process and we thank DOE for recognizing this demonstration project is using innovative designs that will both lower the cost and lower the risk of future commercial scale offshore wind projects located in hurricane prone regions," said Mary C. Doswell, senior vice president-Retail and Alternative Energy Solutions.
DOE announced today that Dominion was one of three companies – out of seven finalists -- to receive the additional funding. It follows a December 2012 announcement where each of the seven finalists received an initial $4 million in federal matching funds to undertake preliminary engineering, design and permitting activities. The Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP) will be located in federal waters approximately 24 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, VA. Dominion and the VOWTAP team — including the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy — plan to demonstrate innovative technologies to reduce the cost of offshore wind energy.
"I'm proud to have been a supporter of offshore wind development in Virginia since the very beginning and I applaud Dominion and VOWTAP on receiving this competitive grant," U.S. Sen. Mark Warner said. "I'm especially excited this project brings in a lot of local partners, who have the opportunity to make Virginia a real leader in offshore wind and create high-skill jobs in the Commonwealth."
VOWTAP will continue development efforts and plans to seek Virginia State Corporation Commission approval to have the turbines up and generating electricity in 2017. The demonstration project will be directly adjacent to the commercial area Dominion is leasing from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Dominion intends to apply the research and lessons learned from VOWTAP to the development of the commercial lease.
U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell said: "I've consistently advocated for more research about ways to efficiently harness wind energy and the economic benefits of using this resource. The responsible development of Virginia's offshore energy resources, including wind, oil, and natural gas, will mean more jobs in Hampton Roads and throughout the Commonwealth, and another step towards greater energy security for our nation. I applaud Dominion and VOWTAP for their hard work and leadership in researching and advancing every possible avenue to more efficiently power our future."
VOWTAP's other partners are Alstom Power Inc., a wind turbine manufacturer that will supply the turbines; KBR, a global engineering, construction, and services firm with experience in offshore wind; Keystone Engineering, the designer of the innovative substructure; the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a federally funded research and development center; Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries; and the Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute, representing the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium.
Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 23,600 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems and serves retail energy customers in 10 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com