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Two U.S. Offshore Wind Farms Gear Up for Construction Despite Challenges

offshore wind installation
DEME's Orion seen installing Vineyard Wind in 2023 is set to begin work off Virginia next week (DEME)

Published May 2, 2024 5:30 PM by The Maritime Executive

 

Two of the largest U.S. offshore wind farms are moving forward into their construction phase as the industry continues to gain momentum and the federal government looks to add more projects to the pipeline. Dominion Energy confirmed that offshore work will begin next week on the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project while adamantly denying any reports that it has been delayed while in Connecticut the first components for the Revolution Wind project are arriving at the staging point.

“Consistent with the construction schedule, installation of monopiles by the DEME-operated vessel Orion is expected to commence between May 6 and May 8,” Dominion said in a statement issued yesterday. They called media reports and statements by a small group of critics that the project was delayed “false and grossly misrepresent the facts.”

On April 29, anti-wind groups filed a petition in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to delay CVOW construction. Dominion says the critics are “using the same meritless arguments as have already been rejected before by the courts, including last week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in relation to an offshore wind project in Massachusetts.”

Dominion Energy strongly believes that the project's biological opinion is compliant with all legal requirements and expects to prevail against the request for a construction delay. The company received the last of its federal approvals in January 2024 for the wind farm which will consist of 176 turbines and three offshore substations off the coast of Virginia Beach. They began stockpiling components last fall in Virginia and when the wind farm is fully constructed in late 2026, it will have a 2.6 GW capacity, making it so far, the largest offshore wind farm in the United States.

Yesterday the local newspaper The Day in New London, Connecticut also spotted the arrival of the first components for Revolution Wind, a 704 MW project scheduled for development by Ørsted and Eversource (soon to be replaced by Global Infrastructure Partners which in February agreed to acquire Eversource’s investment). 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management granted its final approvals late last year with the project reported that onshore work was already underway. The newspaper reported yesterday that sections of the monopoles for the turbines were the first pieces of the 65-turbine project set to be staged at the State Pier in New London. Ultimately, they will assemble the turbine components at the pier as well and ship them to the site similarly to what was done last year for the South Fork Wind project which completed its installation and became the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the United States.  The Revolution project is expected to be operational in 2025 splitting its power between Connecticut and Rhode Island.