Sustainable Energy

Huge offshore wind project near Virginia selects turbine supplier

Key Points
  • Dominion Energy describes scheme as the "largest offshore wind project in the United States."
  • The U.S. offshore wind industry is still young: its first facility only commenced commercial operations in 2016.
This image shows one of the wind turbines at the Block Island Wind Farm, located in waters off Rhode Island.
Don Emmert | AFP | Getty Images

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has been chosen as the preferred turbine supplier for the 2.64 gigawatt (GW) Dominion Energy Virginia Offshore Wind project, also known as the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind commercial project. 

The site of the project is 27 miles off the coast of Virginia and covers an area of 112,800 acres. In an announcement Tuesday, Dominion Energy described the scheme as the "largest offshore wind power project in the United States." 

The turbine model and final number of units to be supplied have yet to be determined, according to SGRE, although installation is expected to be finished by 2026. The agreement is subject to a number of conditions, including government permission and a final investment decision from Dominion Energy.

"Virginia aims to become a national leader in offshore wind, and we are encouraged to see progress toward that goal," Ralph S. Northam, the governor of Virginia, said in a statement issued Tuesday.

"For Virginia, it's about two things: jobs and a cleaner environment," Northam added. "Wind energy is one of our top economic priorities and a critical component of Virginia's clean energy strategy, and this is an important step forward."

The U.S. offshore wind industry is still young. Its first offshore facility, the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm, only commenced commercial operations in 2016. That project is located off the coast of Rhode Island and operated by Danish firm Orsted.

Nevertheless, a number of major projects are now in the pipeline. In July 2019, New York State awarded two offshore wind contracts to Norwegian firm Equinor and a joint venture between Orsted and U.S. business Eversource.

Last September, it was announced that Orsted had chosen GE Renewable Energy as its preferred turbine supplier for two other offshore facilities in the U.S.

The agreement means that Orsted is set to use GE Renewable Energy's huge Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbines at the 120 MW Skipjack facility and the 1,100 MW Ocean Wind project. It's expected that the facilities will be commissioned in 2022 and 2024, respectively.