The Port of Virginia has reached an agreement to lease a portion of the Portsmouth Marine Terminal to Dominion Energy—dramatically accelerating the largest commercial clean energy offshore wind development in the United States and creating a place in Virginia for a new American industry to emerge.
Under the agreement, Dominion Energy will use 72 acres of the deep-water, multi-use marine cargo Portsmouth Marine Terminal as a staging and pre-assembly area for the foundations and turbines that will be installed off the coast of Virginia Beach. The Virginia wind project will produce more than 2,600 megawatts of clean, renewable energy—enough to power up to 660,000 homes.
“This announcement is yet another milestone toward making Virginia the national leader in offshore wind power,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “The Commonwealth and Dominion Energy are standing together to promote clean energy, reduce carbon emissions, create jobs, and build a new American industry on the East Coast of the United States.”
The lease term is 10 years—valued at nearly $4.4 million annually—and includes an option for two five-year renewals. The lease agreement includes significant upgrades to ensure the terminal can handle the weight of the large components that will be deployed to build the offshore wind turbines. Once the components are loaded onto ships, the vessels will travel to the construction site 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach.
The agreement comes just 18 months after Governor Northam signed into law the Virginia Clean Economy Act, cementing Virginia’s commitment to clean and renewable energy. The law sets a target of 2034 for producing at least 5,200 megawatts of energy through offshore wind, and a target of 2045 for achieving 100 percent carbon-free energy production.
Offshore wind is a growing industry in the United States, backed by the Biden Administration’s target of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030. Presently, Dominion Energy’s two-turbine pilot project is operating off the coast of Virginia Beach. Last month, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued a “Notice of Intent” for the full commercial project. The Notice of Intent triggers a federal review of the project and preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement, which will take about two years.