News | September 20, 2019

Dominion’s proposed offshore wind project represents climate progress

Dominion Energy announced plans for a 2,600 megawatt, $7.8 billion offshore wind project in Virginia, joining the state’s governor in making a similar declaration of an executive order aimed at addressing climate change this week.

“Tapping into Dominion’s offshore wind lease area is unquestionably one piece of the Commonwealth’s comprehensive response to climate change,” says SELC Senior Attorney Will Cleveland. “We believe Virginia can become a hub for offshore wind development across the eastern seaboard but, whenever a project is paid for by Virginians, it is imperative—regardless of fuel source—that we carefully scrutinize the project to ensure that unnecessary costs are not imposed in our transition to zero-carbon electricity.”

The price of wind power is expected to decrease dramatically in the U.S., just as it has in Europe over the past 20 years. While offshore wind’s future is bright in the Commonwealth, it is also critical to approach our energy planning comprehensively.

Says Cleveland, “We can’t determine whether this project is the right size or cost for Virginia until we know Dominion’s plans for ramping down its fossil fuel fleet, cancelling the unnecessary Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and maximizing energy efficiency programs, which reduce customer bills and energy demands.”

Dominion’s announcement comes on the heels of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s September 17 call for a carbon-free electricity grid by 2050. 

Both initiatives have made headlines ahead of Friday’s Global Climate Strike, when protesters across the globe will be calling on utilities and other carbon polluters to address their outsize role in our changing climate.