This presentation reviews Virginia's offshore wind background and accomplishments. It addresses VOWTAP project specifics
Environmental/Marine Use Compatibility
The Research Activities Plan describes Dominion' s project to install two advanced-technology, 6-megawatt wind turbines in federal waters about 24 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va. At peak production, the turbines would generate enough electricity to power up to 3,000 homes. Current bids for constructing the project range from about $300 million to $380 million, compared with an initial estimate of about $230 million.
This document was submitted to BOEM in December, 2013 and most recently revised in April, 2015. The full report can be found here.
In May, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy announced its withdrawal of $40 million in funding. Dominion planned to consult with other members of VOWTAP to decide on the next steps.
This two-year study generated and assembled the most comprehensive dataset of physical, biological, geographic, and socioeconomic information available for the Atlantic Ocean waters offshore New York State. In its entirety, the offshore planning area constituted approximately 12,650 square nautical miles (16,740 square miles) off the south shore of New York City and Long Island. This study provides information for state and federal decision-making, supplementing available use and resource data. It contains physical, biological, geographic, and socioeconomic information.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) announce the results of two new multi-year marine wildlife survey efforts that focus on collecting baseline biological occurrence and distribution data for whale, turtle, and bird species within the Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) offshore Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The wildlife surveys found that the Massachusetts and Rhode Island WEAs avoid the high concentrations of protected species of whales, turtles and seabirds in these areas.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences created maps that integrate new stakeholder information with existing agency data, enabling BOEM to reduce potential user conflicts within leases for offshore wind development. Project objectives were to obtain and convey spatially explicit information indicating where wind energy development can avoid or minimize conflicts with fish, fish habitat, fishing, diving, and ecotourism in the three Call Areas published in December 2012: Wilmington-West, Wilmington-East, and Kitty Hawk on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore of North Carolina.
In 2012, BOEM identified three Wind Energy Call Areas off of North Carolina (US Government, Federal Register Vol 77, No. 240, December 2012): the Kitty Hawk Call Area is located near the North Carolina-Virginia border whereas both the Wilmington-West and Wilmington-East Call Areas are located near the North Carolina-South Carolina border, near Cape Fear and Frying Pan Shoals. In August 2014, BOEM announced three, fully vetted, WEAs offshore of North Carolina, in which each of the three Call Areas were reduced in size. This research project examined the seafloor and benthic communities in the Wilmington-East Call Area with some assessments focused on the smaller Wilmington-East WEA.
BOEM has defined three Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) offshore North Carolina. The Kitty Hawk WEA begins about 24 nautical miles (nm) from shore and extends approximately 25.7 nm in a general southeast direction at its widest point. Its seaward extent ranges from 13.5 nm in the north to .6 nm in the south. It contains approximately 21.5 OCS blocks (122,405 acres). The Wilmington West WEA begins about 10 nm from shore and extends approximately 12.3 nm in an east-west direction at its widest point. It contains just over 9 OCS blocks (approximately 51,595 acres). The Wilmington East WEA begins about 15 nm from Bald Head Island at its closest point and extends approximately 18 nm in the southeast direction at its widest point. It contains approximately 25 OCS blocks (133,590 acres).
BOEM is announcing the availability of a revised Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for commercial wind lease issuance, site characterization activities (geophysical, geotechnical, archaeological, and biological surveys), and site assessment activities (including the installation and operation of a meteorological tower and/ or buoys) on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf offshore North Carolina. The revised EA provides a discussion of potential impacts of the proposed action and an analysis of reasonable alternatives to the proposed action.
BOEM conducted detailed surveys to assess the geoarchaeological potential of pre-historic habitation at select sites and to provide baseline information concerning the potential to identify prehistoric and relict landforms, historic shipwrecks and objects, and hazardous MEC/UXO lying in the SC-OCS.
This investigation is intended to provide a baseline of cultural information that will inform preliminary planning decisions regarding renewable energy development in the Atlantic Region and assist in compliance with NHPA and NEPA with respect to the placement of off-shore energy facilities. It identifies known cultural resources/historic properties that could be visually affected, as well as publicly accessible cultural resources/historic properties that could be socio-economically impacted due to diminished levels of visitation.