BOEM approves offshore wind research farm in Virginia

Offshore wind energy

First wind energy research facility in federal waters

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the approval of an offshore wind energy Research Activities Plan (RAP) in waters off of Virginia.

The approved RAP aims to be the first wind energy research facility in federal waters. The ultimate goal of the plan is to research the wind potential offshore of Virginia and gain insight into the future viability of wind as a power source.

“Data collected under this research lease will help us better understand the wind potential, weather and other conditions relevant to generating power from wind offshore Virginia.”” — BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper.

Enough power for 3,000 homes

Along with producing research data points, the proposed facility will also produce consumable power. The facility would include two 6-megawatt (MW) turbines that, according to the BOEM, could generate enough wind energy to power up to 3,000 homes.

The project is a collaborate effort with the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) and power company Dominion Resources, Inc.

Dominion Resources received a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Offshore Wind Demonstration Project Award back in 2012 and subsequently joined with the DMME.

“This research project is the gateway to commercial development of offshore wind which will help diversify our Commonwealth’s energy mix and support our efforts to a build a new Virginia economy.” — Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

Source → BOEM