Dominion Virginia plans to get leases off the Virginia coast for wind power generation

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Dominion Virginia plans to get leases off the Virginia coast for wind power generation

Greentech Lead America: Dominion Virginia Power, a
subsidiary of Dominion, is keen to obtain leases off the Virginia coast that can generate 1,500-2,000 MW of electricity from offshore wind turbines.

Dominion has expressed its interest in the entire 113,000
acres the government is making available 24 miles off the Virginia coast in its
response to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)’s Call for Information
and Nominations that was issued February 3.

Dominion sees offshore wind generation holds great
promise in the long term as a scalable source of emissions-free renewable
electricity.

“Virginia is well positioned to accommodate offshore
wind with the existing electric grid and world-class port facilities in Hampton
Roads. The challenge remains the high cost of building this generation and
bringing it to customers,” said Mary C. Doswell, executive vice
president-Alternative Energy Solutions.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects the
cost of offshore wind generation in 2016 at approximately 24 cents per
kilowatt-hour generated. This is a significant premium over the 7.3 cents per
kilowatt-hour that comprise the generation portion of Dominion Virginia Power’s
residential rate today of about 10.9 cents per kilowatt-hour.

As with any utility generating project, the Virginia
State Corporation Commission would have to approve any Dominion Virginia Power
offshore wind power generation project.

If awarded a lease, Dominion said it would conduct
detailed site assessment activities, including the erection of a meteorological
tower to study wind strength and patterns.

The leasing area is divided into 19 whole blocks, each
3-by-3 miles, and 13 partial ones. Dominion nominated all of the lease blocks
so it would be positioned to propose a project with beneficial economies of
scale.

BOEM said responses to its call for information could lead
to initiation of a competitive bidding process for tracts where more than one
expression of interest is received or a noncompetitive process if there is not
more than one.

Recently, Dominion Virginia Power announced that it
proposes to invest more than $1 billion to build a combined-cycle, natural
gas-fired power station in Brunswick County.

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