Windmills coming to an ocean near you!
On Tuesday, March 24th Virginia Governor
Terry McAuliffe announced at a Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce function that the Commonwealth is the first
state in the nation that will be harnessing the power of offshore wind.
The state has
executed a lease in conjunction with the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management (BOEM) and Dominion Power which will place two wind
turbines, each more than 500 feet tall, approximately 17 miles off the coast of Sandbridge.
The turbines, which are to be constructed and operational by 2017, are 6-megawatt in size which will be
able to produce enough energy to power 3,000 homes on peak demand McAuliffe said.
|Wind farms like this exist in Europe, but no offshore wind turbines exist in
the United States
“This is an opportunity to
become a global leader in offshore wind” said the Governor to a room of 200 plus business leaders at the
luncheon in downtown Norfolk. “My goal is to make Norfolk, with the deepest port on the east
coast, a hub for turbine engineering and maintenance.”
Dominion won an auction to
lease 113,000 acres of federal waters off Virginia Beach two years ago for a project that could contain as
many as 200 turbines. This project of two turbines is seen as a trial project to see how
effective the turbines can be.
The power generated by the turbines will be brought to
shore through an export cable that will be buried in the ocean floor at a depth of at least 6 feet and will
come ashore around the Camp Pendleton state military reservation area of Virginia Beach.
|From Left Kathy Davis (Rental Manager), Tim Cafferty (President), Debbie
Runnells (Vice President) of Sandbridge Blue
Blue’s Tim Cafferty, Kathy Davis and Debbie Runnells (all seen above) all attended the meeting in
Norfolk to listen to Governor McAuliffe’s remarks.
BOEM’s director Abigail Ross
Hopper was in attendance at the meeting and assured the audience that her agency had done significant
vetting of this project and the 500 foot tall windmills would not be a part of the landscape of the Virginia
Beach oceanfront. It is expected that a very small horizon view will be visible during clear
days, and red lights atop the structures may be visible on some nights from the beach.
All the best from the beach!
President, Sandbridge Blue Realty Services