RICHMOND, Va., March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power, a subsidiary of Dominion (NYSE: D), is initiating a study of what it would take to build a high-voltage underwater transmission line from Virginia Beach into the Atlantic Ocean to support potentially multiple offshore wind farms.
Dominion sees this as the first of many steps with the ultimate goal being the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the transmission line necessary to make the offshore wind resource available to its customers.
"An undersea transmission line project will be a key to getting wind generation from the Atlantic Ocean to our customers," said Scot C. Hathaway, vice president-Transmission. "Virginia has excellent resources for offshore wind energy. It makes sense for us to begin a preliminary scoping study of a transmission line and how it could make the offshore wind industry in Virginia viable, without regard to issues of rates, timing and integration into the PJM Interconnection regional transmission grid."
Dominion plans to complete the study this year, evaluating options to best support multiple offshore wind projects off the coast of Virginia. The company would work with PJM Interconnection through its Regional Transmission Expansion Planning process. The Virginia State Corporation Commission would have to approve any power line project as well.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said, "Electricity generation from winds off the coast of Virginia holds great promise for the Commonwealth, both as a source of renewable power and new jobs. This study will help us better understand the possibilities of utilizing this green energy to help power our economy. It is another positive step towards making Virginia the 'Energy Capital of the East Coast.'"
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., added, "As our economy continues to grow, it makes sense to study how we can incorporate renewable, environmentally sustainable sources of energy into the power grid. I have long been a supporter of a 'portfolio' approach to energy, and this study should help us explore the opportunity to develop renewable wind energy available off Virginia's coast."
A study done by Dominion last year of its existing transmission system in eastern Virginia showed that it is possible to interconnect large scale wind generation facilities up to a total installed capability of 4,500 megawatts. The study said 1,500 megawatts of generation into a Virginia Beach substation would not be expected to create transmission deficiencies.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,600 megawatts of generation, 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,100 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 14 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com
SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power