BOEM completes environmental review of proposed Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed its environmental review of the proposed Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project, which BOEM estimates could power about 1 million homes with clean, renewable energy if approved.  
BOEM completes environmental review of proposed Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project
Gunfleet Sands offshore wind farm. Courtesy of Ashley Dace, Wikimedia Commons.

The CVOW project, located approximately 23.5 nautical miles offshore Virginia Beach, Virginia, would provide up to 3,000 megawatts of clean, reliable offshore wind energy, supporting the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030.

“The completion of our environmental review marks another step towards a clean energy future - one that benefits communities and co-exists with other ocean users” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “The best available science and knowledge shared by Tribes, other government agencies, local communities, ocean users, industry, environmental organisations and others informed the analyses contained in this document, and we look forward to continued engagement with all of our partners and key stakeholders as we proceed with next steps.”

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda aims to grow the American economy from the middle out and bottom up – from rebuilding US infrastructure, to driving over $500 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments across the country, to creating good paying jobs and building a clean energy economy that will combat the climate crisis and make US communities more resilient.

A Notice of Availability for the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Dominion Energy’s proposed project will publish in the Federal Register on September 29, 2023. The final EIS analyses the potential environmental impacts of the activities detailed in the Construction and Operations Plan, which includes 202 wind turbine generators (WTGs) and their associated offshore and onshore export cables. The final EIS is available on BOEM’s website.  

BOEM held three virtual public meetings during the 60-day public comment period, which closed on February 14th 2023, to solicit additional feedback on the draft EIS from Tribal Nations, local community members, commercial fishing interests, and other ocean users. BOEM received a total of 50 comments submitted from Federal, Tribal, state, and local government agencies; non-governmental organisations; and the public. It will issue a Record of Decision on whether to approve the project this autumn.  

These comments were considered when developing the final EIS, a critical step to determining whether the project can move forward while balancing the needs and interests of those who may be affected by the development. Specifically in response to comments received, BOEM developed a preferred alternative that includes fewer turbines to reduce impacts to navigation and a known fish haven area, better allow for ocean co-use, and meet the energy needs of Virginia.

“This project will stimulate the regional economy and create many new job opportunities - including in manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and operations” added Josh Kaplowitz, Vice President for Offshore Wind at the American Clean Power Association (ACP). “Once completed, CVOW will power approximately 660,000 homes per year with clean, reliable, and homegrown wind energy. CVOW’s FEIS is the result of rigorous review and extensive public input from key stakeholders. ACP looks forward to BOEM’s final approval of the project and the jobs, manufacturing capacity, and energy security that America’s offshore wind industry will bring to Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic region.”

For additional information:

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

American Clean Power Association (ACP)

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