Sunday, November 27, 2022

Commonwealth chooses consultant to help develop wind energy industry

Gov. Ralph Northam announced last week that the Commonwealth had selected BVG Associates to help develop strategies to bring offshore wind supply chain and service industry business to the area.

BVG Associates is a renewable energy consulting firm focusing on wind, wave, and tidal energy systems, and is a leader in independent renewable energy consultancy with expertise in the business, economics, and technology of wind and marine energy generation systems. Their U.S. headquarters is in Dover, Delaware, and they also have offices in England, Scotland, and France.

The Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club is applauding the governor’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.

Jim Spore, president and CEO of Reinvent Hampton roads, speaks at the July 23 Offshore Wind Town Hall meeting in Virginia Beach (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of the Sierra Club, Virginia Chapter)
Jim Spore, president and CEO of Reinvent Hampton roads, speaks at the July 23 Offshore Wind Town Hall meeting in Virginia Beach (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of the Sierra Club, Virginia Chapter)

“Governor 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 area – 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 Commonwealth 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 individuals 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.

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