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First Monopile installs for Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Farm

Dominion Energy announced today the successful installation of the first monopile foundation for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project, marking a significant milestone for the largest offshore wind farm currently under construction in the United States. The installation took place approximately 29 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, using the Orion, a heavy lift vessel operated by DEME Group.

The CVOW project, set for completion in late 2026, will feature 176 wind turbines generating a total of 2.6 gigawatts of renewable energy. This output will be sufficient to power up to 660,000 homes and is projected to save customers $3 billion in fuel costs over its first decade of operation.

“This is a monumental day for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind team, who have worked tirelessly to keep this project on budget and on schedule to provide our customers with reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean energy,” said Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy’s chair, president, and CEO. He emphasized the company’s commitment to environmental protection and marine life conservation throughout the project’s development.

Bill White, President of DEME Offshore US, expressed pride in partnering with Dominion Energy on this landmark project. He highlighted the unique capabilities of the Orion vessel and the advanced Vibro Hammer technology used to install the massive monopiles, each weighing over 1,000 tons. The project is also creating a robust workforce, including skilled American union pile drivers.

The monopile foundations are single vertical steel cylinders produced by EEW SPC and staged at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal. These foundations are crucial for supporting the wind turbine generators. Dominion Energy will continue installing monopiles through fall 2024, pausing during the endangered North Atlantic right whale migration season from November 1 to April 30, and resuming in May 2025.

To protect marine life, additional measures include using bubble curtains to mitigate underwater soundwaves during installation and employing Protected Species Observers on vessels, which will adhere to speed restrictions to avoid collisions with protected species.

The CVOW project is expected to have significant economic benefits for Hampton Roads and the wider Commonwealth, engaging more than 800 Virginia-based workers in various roles. Post-construction, over 1,000 local jobs will support the ongoing operations and maintenance of the wind farm.

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