RICHMOND, Va., May 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power has been awarded an additional $47 million from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to help fund the construction of a 12-megawatt demonstration project, consisting of two 6-megawatt offshore wind turbines on innovative substructures that will produce enough electricity to power up to 3,000 homes.
"This was a highly competitive process and we thank DOE for recognizing this demonstration project is using innovative designs that will both lower the cost and lower the risk of future commercial scale offshore wind projects located in hurricane prone regions," said Mary C. Doswell, senior vice president-Retail and Alternative Energy Solutions.
DOE announced today that Dominion was one of three companies – out of seven finalists -- to receive the additional funding. It follows a December 2012 announcement where each of the seven finalists received an initial $4 million in federal matching funds to undertake preliminary engineering, design and permitting activities. The Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP) will be located in federal waters approximately 24 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, VA. Dominion and the VOWTAP team — including the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy — plan to demonstrate innovative technologies to reduce the cost of offshore wind energy.
"I'm proud to have been a supporter of offshore wind development in Virginia since the very beginning and I applaud Dominion and VOWTAP on receiving this competitive grant," U.S. Sen. Mark Warner said. "I'm especially excited this project brings in a lot of local partners, who have the opportunity to make Virginia a real leader in offshore wind and create high-skill jobs in the Commonwealth."VOWTAP will continue development efforts and plans to seek Virginia State Corporation Commission approval to have the turbines up and generating electricity in 2017. The demonstration project will be directly adjacent to the commercial area Dominion is leasing from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Dominion intends to apply the research and lessons learned from VOWTAP to the development of the commercial lease.