Offshore wind study completed by Dominion and ABB

A study completed by ABB Power Systems Consulting at the request of Dominion Virginia Power found that one offshore substation platform with two 230,000-volt power lines is appropriate to transmit to shore every 500-700 MW of wind-generated electricity constructed off the coast of Virginia.

Dominion said the report evaluated the offshore transmission options to support future projects and built its recommendations on the company's first study in 2010 that looked at potential on-shore interconnection options and upgrades needed to support offshore wind generation projects. The studies complement one another as transmission lines from the four recommended offshore service platforms would likely be routed to two separate onshore interconnection points.

The report estimated the cost for each offshore service platform, its equipment and submarine transmission cables at approximately $652 million.

Dominion is planning to respond to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's call for information for wind generation in about 113,000 acres of leasing areas approximately 24 miles off the Virginia coast. The leasing area is divided into 19 whole blocks, each 3-by-3 miles, and 13 partial ones.

Dominion has a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to work with partners and find ways to reduce the costs of offshore wind generation. The DOE estimates that offshore wind generation alone would cost about 24 cents per kilowatt-hour; Dominion's residential rates today for generation, transmission and distribution services are about 11 cents per kilowatt-hour.

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