BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE
VIRGINIA BEACH — Dominion Energy seeks public input about transmission routes in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake to carry power generated by what will be the largest offshore wind project of its kind in the U.S.
Two pilot project turbines, each more than 600 feet tall, have been operational since October some 27 miles off the Virginia Beach coast, and 180 turbines standing more than 800 feet tall are expected to be built and operational by 2026, according to the utility.
There are a series of meetings about the project this week, including a gathering at Virginia Beach Field House in Landstown today.
Before that happens, Dominion has regulatory and stakeholder work to do to make its Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project a reality. For southern Virginia Beach residents, one pressing item will be getting the energy from where it comes ashore at Camp Pendleton to the Dominion substation at Fentress in Chesapeake.
New electric transmission lines will be needed to move the power from point to point.
Dominion is doing public outreach in both of the affected cities about potential routes to deliver the power from the shore in Virginia Beach to Chesapeake.
Dominion recently has met with communities such as Courthouse Estates and Castleton regarding the project, said Rob Richardson, a spokesperson for the project’s Electric Transmission Group, during an interview on Wednesday, June 16.
Additionally, a series of meetings about the project is scheduled for this coming week.
“That’s what this process is for – to understand what people’s concerns are and address those concerns,” Richardson said. “We’re doing everything we can to alert the people that might be impacted.”
He spoke during a visit to two test turbines that are operational 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. Several local reporters made the trip, which was arranged by Dominion.
Power will travel from the turbines through an undersea cable, coming ashore at a cable landing station, then go to a switching station and travel through transmission lines about 13 miles to Fentress. An interactive map tool called Geovoice has the six potential routes and opportunities for comment at geovoice.powereng.com/dominion/cvow/.
Meetings about the project are scheduled from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, June 22, at the Virginia Beach Field House, 2020 Landstown Centre Way, Virginia Beach, and 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, June 24, at The Signet Center, 884 Bells Mill Road, Chesapeake.
A virtual meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., Wednesday, June 23, via dominionenergy.webex.com, meeting 325610, password CVOW. Information is also available via firstname.lastname@example.org or online at coastalvawind.com.
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