The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project by Dominion Energy is the kind of large-scale renewable energy development we need to make a just and expeditious transition to renewable energy in order to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Once fully constructed in 2026, CVOW will generate enough clean, sustainable energy to power up to 660,000 homes. And by harnessing the power of the wind, CVOW will avoid or displace the carbon equivalent of removing 1 million non-electric cars from the road each year.
Although this will be the largest offshore wind project in the United States at the time of its completion, it is important to note that offshore wind development in the US lags development in Europe by more than a decade.
Fortunately, additional offshore wind development is slated for much of the east coast from North Carolina to Maine with projects also under consideration on the west coast and the Great Lakes. At this scale, offshore wind represents an entirely new industry building on the existing land based wind industry prominent in the midwest but with a maritime component and much larger turbines.
Hampton Roads is well positioned to be a major hub for this new industry with a port that can handle these massive turbines and blades. The full build out of the industry on the east coast could take decades and a mature offshore wind industry would require a major work force to maintain the turbines. A mature offshore wind industry could employ 10,000 with a supply chain benefitting Virginia and adjoining states.
The CVOW project alone, during construction, could create 900 direct and indirect Virginia jobs annually — 60% in the Hampton Roads region — and generate $57 million in pay and benefits, $143 million in economic benefits and approximately $5 million in local and state tax revenue.
An analysis by Virginia-based Mangum Economics estimates that when fully constructed in 2026, operation of CVOW could create about 1,100 direct and indirect jobs in Hampton Roads, as well as generate $82 million in pay and benefits, $210 million in economic benefits annually and approximately $11 million annually in local and state tax revenue.
More details can be found at Virginia Offshore Wind.