Virginia Governor Signs Off on 5.2 GW by 2034 Offshore Wind Target

By Nadja Skopljak

Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam has signed the Clean Economy Act which requires at least 5.2 GW of offshore wind power to be developed in this U.S. state by 2034.

The Virginia General Assembly passed this House Bill 1526 and Senate Bill 851 Clean Economy Act in March.

The act provides that 5.2 GW of offshore wind generation is “in the public interest.”

It requires Dominion Energy to prioritize hiring local workers from historically disadvantaged communities, to work with the Commonwealth to advance apprenticeship and job training, and to include an environmental and fisheries mitigation plan.

The law requires nearly all coal-fired plants to close by the end of 2024, electricity to come from 100% renewable sources and Dominion Energy to be 100% carbon-free by 2045.

Energy companies must pay penalties for not meeting their targets, and part of that revenue would fund job training and renewable energy programs in historically disadvantaged communities.

“These new clean energy laws propel Virginia to leadership among the states in fighting climate change,” said Governor Northam. “They advance environmental justice and help create clean energy jobs. In Virginia, we are proving that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand-in-hand.”

Dominion Energy and Ørsted are currently developing Virginia’s first offshore wind project – the 12 MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) demonstration wind farm.

The two-turbine project is expected to provide the operational, weather, and environmental experience needed for large-scale development in Dominion Energy’s adjacent 112,800ha lease site, which has the capacity to generate up to 2 GW of offshore wind.