VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Dominion Energy officials and Gov. Ralph Northam visited Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach Monday to launch an offshore wind project for the Commonwealth.
Monday’s event marks the beginning of construction for Dominion’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind pilot project, which will feature two wind turbines.
“It’s all about taking care of our environment and our future as Virginians,” said Northam.
The test run made up of two 6 megawatt wind turbines which will power 3,000 homes that could lead to 200 of them.
The turbines will tower 550 feet above the water, but Dominion says they won’t be visible at all from the beach because they’ll be 27 miles off the shore.
“This project will be approximately 27 miles to the east of us, the power cable will come to shore here at Camp Pendleton adjacent to the multiple data cables arrival point,” explained Mayor Bobby Dyer.
Dominion Energy officials anticipate investing over $1.1 billion over the next several years on the project, but say customers won’t see a dime added to their bill.
”The question of rates is one that’s important to all of us we want to have affordable and we want to have clean energy this project is covered under existing rates so there will be no rate change to customers,” said Dominion Energy Executive VP, Paul Koonce.
Governor Ralph Northam says if all goes as planned, this will make not only the area, but state more competitive.
”We want to be the number one state in which to do business in this great country of ours, and part of that is having costly energy and this is a great step in that direction,” Northam stated.
Actual construction started on June 11 and next week beachgoers will see a construction rig offshore about half a mile.
The pilot program is expected to last 18 months and then from there they will decide whether or not to move forward.