BOEM Completes Environmental Review of Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project

(Image credit: BOEM)

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed its environmental review of the proposed Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) commercial project, which BOEM estimates could power about one million homes with clean, renewable energy if approved.  

The CVOW project, located approximately 23.5 nautical miles offshore Virginia Beach, Virginia, would provide up to 3,000 megawatts of clean, reliable offshore wind energy.

“The completion of our environmental review marks another step towards a clean energy future—one that benefits communities and co-exists with other ocean users,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “The best available science and knowledge shared by Tribes, other government agencies, local communities, ocean users, industry, environmental organizations and others informed the analyses contained in this document, and we look forward to continued engagement with all of our partners and key stakeholders as we proceed with next steps.”

A Notice of Availability for the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Dominion Energy’s proposed project will publish in the Federal Register on September 29, 2023. The final EIS analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the activities detailed in the Construction and Operations Plan, which includes 202 wind turbine generators (WTGs) and their associated offshore and onshore export cables. The final EIS is available on BOEM’s website.

BOEM plans to issue a Record of Decision on whether to approve the project this fall.

On Dec. 16, 2022, BOEM published a draft EIS, initiating a 60-day public comment period, which closed on Feb. 14, 2023. BOEM held three virtual public meetings to solicit additional feedback on the draft EIS from Tribal Nations, local community members, commercial fishing interests, and other ocean users. BOEM received a total of 50 comments submitted from Federal, Tribal, state, and local government agencies; non-governmental organizations; and the public.

BOEM considered comments received when developing the final EIS, a critical step to determining whether the project can move forward while balancing the needs and interests of those who may be affected by the development.

Specifically in response to comments received, BOEM developed a preferred alternative that includes fewer turbines to reduce impacts to navigation and a known fish haven area, better allow for ocean co-use, and meet the energy needs of Virginia.

For more information on the CVOW project, go to BOEM’s website.

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