Virginia Creates Offshore Wind Authority

The state will also upgrade port facilities to accommodate the manufacturing and assembly of offshore wind energy project components.

On April 2, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed legislation that establishes the Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority. The authority would promote the development of the offshore wind industry in Virginia and identify potential barriers to wind energy development, among other things.

The Commission is charged with, among other tasks, (i) collecting metocean data, (ii) identifying existing state and regulatory or administrative barriers to the development of the offshore wind industry, (iii) upgrading port facilities to accommodate the manufacturing and assembly of offshore wind energy project components and vessels that will support the construction and operations of offshore wind energy projects, (iv) securing federal loan guarantees, and (v) developing, constructing, and operating interconnection facilities on the Virginia shoreline to connect offshore wind energy projects to the electric grid.

"As a company that is carefully examining the feasibility of building wind farms offshore, Dominion is pleased that Gov. McDonnell has signed legislation creating the Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority. To meet future electric demand in Virginia, the state needs a variety of generating sources, including wind. The authority will address critical issues -- such as transmission capability and installation of meteorological towers -- that could pave the way for wind energy development off the coast of Virginia," said Mary C. Doswell, senior vice president-Alternative Energy Solutions.

Dominion owns 282 megawatts of operational wind capacity -- 132 megawatts in Mount Storm, W.Va., and 150 megawatts in Fowler, Ind. The company is also in the early stages of developing additional wind generation in Illinois, Indiana and Virginia.

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