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Virginia governor makes announcement regarding offshore wind

Posted at 8:51 AM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 17:56:04-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Governor Ralph Northam announced an agreement for Orsted to lease a portion of the Portsmouth Marine Terminal for offshore wind staging materials and equipment.

The agreement was ratified Tuesday morning by a unanimous vote of the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners.

Orsted could use the site for its work on the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project with Dominion Energy, as well as for staging materials and equipment for Orsted projects up and down the East Coast.

If fully executed, the lease will run through through at least 2026, during which time Orsted plans to install nearly 3,000 megawatts of wind energy projects in the United States.

"This is a big step towards making Virginia a leader in wind energy and offshore wind manufacturing," said Governor Northam. "With the Port of Virginia at its helm, the Hampton Roads region has the trained workforce and the nautical know-how to become a vital hub for offshore wind development. We welcome Orsted and look forward to the tremendous opportunities ahead of us."

The agreement between the port and Orsted is for an initial lease of 1.7 acres at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal through 2026, with options to expand to 40 acres. If fully executed, the agreement could be worth nearly $13 million in lease payments and result in site upgrades worth more than $20 million for cranes and improvements to a section of the terminal's berth to ensure heavy load capacity.

Related: Gov. Northam delivers 2020 State of the Commonwealth address 

Those investments would prepare the site for activities such as pre-assembly, staging and loading of wind turbines for other Orsted projects.

"It is our hope that today's announcement demonstrates the potential we see in Virginia as a central player in the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind industry," said Thomas Brostrem, President and CEO Orsted North America, Offshore. "Much activity will be taking place in Virginia and beyond in the coming months and years, and Portsmouth Marine Terminal is well-situated to meet our needs both now and in the future."

Portsmouth Marine Terminal is one of the Port of Virginia's two multi-use terminals in the Norfolk Harbor. Covering 287 acres, the facility is located on deep water, has on-dock rail access and offers open space for storage and staging.