Dominion Virginia Power wins offshore wind energy auction

Dominion Virginia Power bid $1.6 million to win the lease for 112,800 acres of federal land off the coast of Virginia to develop an offshore wind turbine farm capable of generating up to 2,000 MW of renewable energy.

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) conducted the auction. Eight companies, including Dominion, were approved to bid, but only two firms participated. The auction lasted six rounds.

BOEM has several milestones that Dominion must meet to keep the lease with the final milestone being the submittal of a construction and operations plan within five years of signing the lease.

Once BOEM has the plan, it has an undetermined amount of time to perform an environmental analysis and approve the plan. Dominion expects the first turbine to be installed in about 10 years pending project approval by state regulators.

Others that BOEM had approved to bid were Apex Virginia Offshore Wind LLC of Charlottesville, Va; Energy Management Inc. of Boston; EDF Renewable Development Inc. of San Diego; Fishermen's Energy LLC of Cape May, N.J.; Iberdrola Renewables Inc. of Portland, Ore.; Sea Breeze Energy LLC of Philadelphia; and Orisol Energy U.S. Inc. of Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Department of Energy will select up to three of the projects for follow-on phases to move forward with the final design, permitting, and ultimate construction of these demonstration projects. The projects must be in operation by the end of 2017.

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