RICHMOND, Va. — Dominion Energy announced today it started the keel laying process in the construction of the first Jones Act compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel.
Access to the wind turbine installation vessels are of strategic importance as they provide several gigawatts of offshore wind capacity to be installed along the U.S. East Coast in the next decade.
According to a news release, Dominion Energy’s president and chief executive officer, Robert M. Blue, believes this is a major step forward for the offshore wind industry in America.
"Dominion Energy is proud to be leading a consortium of respected industry participants in the construction of the first Jones Act compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel, which will provide significant American jobs, and provide a reliable, home-grown installation solution with the capacity to handle the next generation of large-scale, highly-efficient turbine technologies. This will better enable the offshore wind industry to bring clean, renewable energy to customers in the U.S.” said Blue.
Governor Northam also believes offshore wind would bring clean energy and new jobs to America, and that Virginia is leading the way, according to the release.
"This new vessel will help propel the offshore wind supply chain, drive economic development in Hampton Roads, and grow the offshore wind workforce in our Commonwealth,” he said.
This project will contribute to Dominion Energy's efforts in developing a domestic manufacturing supply chain to support a multi-gigawatt opportunity for zero-carbon electricity generation in U.S. waters. Dominion Energy expects the vessel to be fully utilized in support of the installation of over 5 gigawatts of planned offshore wind generation off the East Coast of the U.S. through 2027 and beyond. The vessel is expected to create nearly 700 direct construction jobs, eventually being based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia with a U.S. crew.
The vessel will utilize more than 14,000 tons of domestic steel, with nearly 10,000 tons sourced from Alabama and West Virginia suppliers. With a length of 472 feet, a width of 184 feet and a depth of 38 feet, the vessel will the biggest of its kind in the world, accommodating up to 119 people.
The overall project cost is estimated to be around $500 million. Financing for the vessel has been arranged through a lease financing agreement with leading global banks.
Construction and financing costs will not impact Dominion Energy Virginia’s customers’ bills.
Offshore wind generation is a vital part of Dominion Energy's clean energy strategy to meet standards outlined in the Virginia Clean Economy Act and to achieve the company's net zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions commitment by 2050.