Science

Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Farm Gets Federal Approval


The Interior Department on Tuesday approved a plan to install up to 176 giant wind turbines off the coast of Virginia, clearing the way for what would be the nation’s largest offshore wind farm yet.

The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, to be built by Dominion Energy, is the fifth commercial-scale offshore wind project approved by the Biden administration. If completed, the 2.6-gigawatt wind farm would produce enough electricity to power more than 900,000 homes, without creating any of the carbon dioxide emissions that are heating the planet.

The project is expected to provide about 900 jobs each year during the construction phase and support an estimated 1,100 annual jobs once it begins operating. “More progress and economic opportunity are on the horizon as we put to use every tool available to bring offshore wind benefits to American workers and communities nationwide,” said Ali Zaidi, the White House national climate adviser.

The decision comes at a perilous time for the offshore wind industry. To fight climate change, the Biden administration wants to install 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power in the United States by 2030. But that plan has run into serious trouble lately, as developers have struggled with soaring costs, rising interest rates, supply chain delays and bursts of local opposition.

“The delivery of the first foundations is further evidence that our Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project continues to move forward on time and on budget to provide reliable, affordable and increasingly clean energy to our customers,” Robert Blue, Dominion’s chief executive, said in a recent statement.



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