Orsted further cemented its US offshore wind supply chain with an agreement to lease part of the Portsmouth Marine Terminal in Virginia.
The global offshore wind pacesetter will lease the 1.7-acre deepwater site at least until 2026 when it plans to have almost 3GW of offshore wind capacity in place along the US east coast, according to a statement from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
The state said Orsted could use the site for its work on the 12MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project for Dominion Energy due to enter commercial operation this year, and as a staging point for its wider portfolio on the US East Coast if upgrades to support heavy-load capacity proceed as planned.
Orsted is acting as EPC lead for CVOW on behalf of Dominion, which is separately planning a 2.6GW project in Virginia’s waters that would be the largest in the US to date.
Thomas Brostrøm, CEO Orsted North America, Offshore, said: “Much activity will be taking place in Virginia and beyond in the coming months and years, and Portsmouth Marine Terminal is well-situated to meet our needs both now and in the future.”
Orsted recently unveiled plans for a US 'Innovation Hub' in Providence, Rhode Island.
“This a big step toward making Virginia a leader in wind energy and offshore wind manufacturing,” said Northam, a Democrat who last September issued an executive order setting an aggressive 2.5GW offshore wind target by 2026 for the state.
Soon thereafter, Dominion announced it would proceed with the nation’s largest offshore wind project which Northam has thrown his political support behind. The move raised eyebrows since he effectively placed Virginia’s offshore wind future entirely in the hands of Dominion, its dominant electric utility with little sector experience.
His administration, which apparently has no backup plans to promote competitive offshore wind power supply, sees offshore wind as generating economic development opportunities and thousands of well-paying skilled jobs.
Separately, Dominion announced a renewable energy partnership with three of the nation's building and construction trade unions.
Dominion along with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Laborer's International Union of North America and Virginia Brotherhood of Electrical Workers will negotiate a Project Labor Agreement to perform the onshore electrical interconnection work for the first 880MW stage of the utility's commercial-scale offshore wind farm.
Dominion and skilled craft labor have worked together for decades on traditional energy projects.
Updates with Northam quote and political support for Dominion offshore project and Dominion's renewable energy partnership with trade unions