Administrations Lay Plans to One-Up America’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm

Offshore Wind Farm
by Morgan Sweeney


Installation of the country’s largest offshore wind farm began in earnest just two months ago off the coast of Virginia, and the Biden administration announced Friday it will be auctioning another even bigger wind energy lease sale off the coast of the commonwealth.

Dominion Energy leased the approximately 113,000 acres that would become the site of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project in 2013. After installing two pilot turbines in 2020, the utility began the installation of the rest of its 176 turbines in May.

In August, two central Atlantic lease areas – one, more than 101,000 acres off the coast of Delaware and Maryland and the other, about 176,500 acres “35 nautical miles from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay” – will be auctioned.

“We are taking action to jumpstart America’s offshore wind energy industry and using American innovation to deliver reliable, affordable power to homes and businesses, while also addressing the climate crisis,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland in a statement. “As we do, we are working collaboratively with states, tribes and stakeholders to ensure we are making smart decisions and efficient use of our nation’s offshore resources.”

According to Dominion Energy, the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project’s turbines could deliver up to 2.6 gigawatts of power to approximately 660,000 homes at peak output.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has estimated that the combined output of the two new wind farms could be up to 6.3 gigawatts, powering up to 2.2 million homes.

His first week in office in 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order that established new goals for American wind energy. For offshore wind, the goal was 30 gigawatts of wind energy by 2030.

As of 2023, there were just seven fully operational offshore wind turbines in U.S. waters generating about 42 megawatts of power. Five are off the coast of Rhode Island and two off the coast of Virginia.

The Biden administration has approved eight commercial-scale projects along the East Coast that, when complete, should have more than 800 turbines and produce over 10 gigawatts. And the Department of the Interior “recently announced a schedule of up to 12 additional lease sales through 2028.”

 – – –

Morgan Sweeney is a staff writer covering Virginia and Maryland for The Center Square. Morgan was an active member of the journalism program as an undergraduate at Hillsdale College and previously freelanced for The Center Square.
Photo “Offshore Wind Farm” by David Dixon CC BY-SA 2.0.

Related posts