2012 was a big year for Atlantic offshore wind and 2013 promises to be an even bigger year for its development off the coast of Virginia.
In 2012, our Virginia WEA (wind energy area) – a 112,799 acre area 23 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach – was identified and cleared for development by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) after consultation with all interest groups including the military, shipping and fishing industries. It’s an area capable of providing 2400 megawatts of power. Not only would that power over 500,000 homes but developed in its entirety over the next decade, that 2400 megawatts would attract wind manufacturing industry investment in Virginia creating thousands of jobs.
Eight developers have expressed interest in developing offshore wind in this Virginia WEA, but only one will emerge the winner of the anticipated spring 2013 auction; only one will be allowed exclusive leasing rights to develop what is now Virginia’s entire offshore wind energy area.
Dominion Virginia Power is one of the eight companies expected to bid for the right to develop offshore wind in Virginia. However, given Dominion’s poor track record of delivering Virginia-made renewable energy to our homes and businesses, we have good reason to be concerned should it win Virginia’s lease rights.
BOEM has opened for public comments a proposed sale notice for the Virginia WEA. Your comments will help them prepare a final sale notice that will provide the final details concerning the offering and issuance of the lease for the Virginia WEA. Click here to send BOEM a message urging them to ensure that whoever owns the right to develop offshore wind in Virginia will do so and do so promptly. Delaying development will hurt Virginia’s economy, limit clean energy job growth and threaten our communities with more coastal flooding and sea level rise from climate change.
Superstorm Sandy was a particularly tragic example of the extreme weather that climate change is already inflicting on the planet. Unless we continue reducing carbon emissions from coal, oil and gas, storms like Sandy could become the new normal. We need Dominion to take action to cut carbon pollution by developing offshore wind in Virginia immediately to replace outdated and dirty energy sources.
The deadline for comments is February 1, 2013, so TAKE ACTION NOW!