Construction work at the first offshore wind farm in US federal waters, with lead-off foundations now installed at Dominion Energy and Orsted’s 12MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot site.

Jan De Nul’s Vole au Vent is handling the two-turbine construction project, which is built around 6MW Siemens Gamesa machines installed on monopile foundations in water depths of 27 metres (90ft) some 43km (27 miles) off the US east coast.

“Today is a monumental day for the US offshore wind industry,” said Orsted North America CEO Thomas Brostrom.

“Our team and suppliers have worked tirelessly in unprecedented circumstances to complete this project on behalf of our partner Dominion Energy. I hope today serves as a symbol for what the future of this industry holds for the US.

“Hats off to the team on this accomplishment.”

Brostom told Recharge: “This project is proof that offshore wind can and will thrive here in the US. This is the first federally permitted project in the US and the first turbines in federal waters. We hope to utilise the knowledge we have gained building CVOW for our other projects as we continue to build this new American industry.”

The EEW SPC monopiles, transition pieces and anode cages, fabricated in Rostock, Germany, and the components for two turbines, were sailed from Esberg, Denmark on cargo ships to the US in April.

Installation at the pilot gets underway as Dominion Energy is starting ocean surveys to map the seabed of the 112,800-acre lease area where the company aims to build the full 2.6GW CVOW mega-project, beginning in 2024, where Siemens Gamesa will supply its record-setting 14MW turbines.

Virginia's General Assembly passed landmark clean energy legislation in March that doubles its offshore wind goal to 5.2GW and clears the way for big deployments of solar and storage, in a move hailed by US renewable energy groups as “transformational”.