Sunday, November 27, 2022

Virginia chooses consultant to help develop wind energy industry

A photo of an offshore wind farm
(WYDaily/Courtesy Wikimedia)

A European company with expertise in renewable energy will help Virginia develop a plan to harness winds off Hampton Roads, Gov. Ralph Northam said.

London-based BVG Associates is a renewable energy consulting firm focusing on wind, wave and tidal energy systems. The company’s U.S. headquarters is in Dover, Delaware. In addition to England, the company also has offices in Scotland and France.

The Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club is applauding Northam’s efforts.

“Developing a strategic plan to position Hampton Roads as a mid-Atlantic hub for the offshore wind industry is a great first step towards realizing Virginia’s clean energy future,” said Eileen Woll, director of the local chapter’s Offshore Energy Program.

“Gov. Northam needs to join other East Coast governors in developing a specific master plan for Virginia’s offshore wind development that includes specific milestones and timelines for both the construction of offshore wind turbines off our coast along with the development of our ports to support the offshore wind industry,” she said.

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy issued a request for proposals on May 21 to find an agency with “extensive offshore wind-industry expertise to assist the Commonwealth in its planning regarding industry supply chain, port infrastructure requirements, build-out of the various offshore wind supply chain sectors, and long-term maritime service needs.”

“It’s time for Virginia to take significant steps forward to secure our clean energy future, and I look forward to working with BVG Associates to establish Virginia as the prime location for the offshore wind industry, from the supply chain to the full build-out of Virginia’s offshore wind resources,” Northam said. “We hope that this effort will help enhance Hampton Roads’ unmatched port infrastructure and high-quality maritime workforce and ultimately lead to substantial economic and job growth in the Commonwealth.”

Woll said Virginia can, and must, lead the nation in a clean energy industry that best confronts climate disruption.

“The Hampton Roads area is the second most vulnerable area in the U.S. — behind New Orleans — to sea level rise,” Wolf said. “Virginia has the opportunity, almost moral responsibility, to confront that large issue with a solution that is just as large.”

The state has also launched www.vaoffshorewind.org, a one-stop shop aimed at educating asset holders and industry prospects about the state’s existing and potential supply chain candidate businesses, assets, and workforce.

To enhance Virginia’s efforts, BVG Associates will work with the offshore wind team, which will include representatives from the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, the Secretary of Commerce and Trade’s office, the Virginia Port Authority, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Virginia maritime industry, and other local and regional partners.

This article was published in partnership with our sister publication, HNNDaily. 

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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