Dominion wins $47M DOE funding for Virginia offshore wind turbine demonstration project

Dominion Virginia Power has won an addition $47 million from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a 12 MW offshore wind turbine demonstration project.

The project consists of two 6 MW offshore wind turbines that will produce enough electricity to power up to 3,000 homes.

Dominion was one of three companies – out of seven finalists — to receive the additional funding, according to DOE statement. Each of the seven finalists had received an initial $4 million in federal matching funds to undertake preliminary engineering, design and permitting activities.

Alstom Power will supply turbines for the project, while KBR will provide engineering , construction and services. Other partners include Keystone Engineering, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Newport News Shipbuilding, and the Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute.

The Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP) will be located in federal waters approximately 24 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, VA.  Dominion and the VOWTAP team — including the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy — plan to demonstrate innovative technologies to reduce the cost of offshore wind energy.

“This was a highly competitive process and we thank DOE for recognizing this demonstration project is using innovative designs that will both lower the cost and lower the risk of future commercial scale offshore wind projects located in hurricane prone regions,” said Mary C. Doswell, senior vice president-Retail and Alternative Energy Solutions.

“I’m proud to have been a supporter of offshore wind development in Virginia since the very beginning and I applaud Dominion and VOWTAP on receiving this competitive grant,” U.S. Sen. Mark Warner said.

U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell said, “The responsible development of Virginia’s offshore energy resources, including wind, oil, and natural gas, will mean more jobs in Hampton Roads and throughout the Commonwealth, and another step towards greater energy security for our nation.”

Dominion is also developing solar portfolio. In a recent development, Dominion acquired two stand-alone solar energy projects in southwest Tennessee. Commercial operation is slated for the fourth quarter of this year.

Dominion’s earning for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, stands at $379 million  compared with earnings of $495 million for the same period in 2013.