Dominion Virginia Power has expressed interest in leasing an area off the Virginia coast that would support construction of up to 2,000 MW of offshore generation, the utility said Monday.
It told the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that it is interested in obtaining all 113,000 acres that the Department of the Interior is making available for leasing off the Virginia coast. The leases are about 24 miles off the coast.
"Offshore wind generation holds great promise in the long term as a scalable source of emissions-free renewable electricity," said Mary Doswell, executive vice president for alternative energy solutions.
The company expressed interest in all the territory made available for leasing because navigational and environmental studies may further limit suitable areas for development, the company said. By expressing interest in all of the available area, the company would be positioned to propose a project with beneficial economies of scale, the utility said.
The projected cost of offshore wind generation is estimated to be about 24 cents/kWh, more than triple the 7.3 cents/kWh Dominion's residential customers pay for the generation portion of their power, the utility said.
The company has used a $500,000 grant from the Department of Energy to look for innovative ways to reduce the cost of offshore generation by 25%. A recently completed study Dominion commissioned found that building offshore substations could help reduce the cost of transmitting offshore power to link with the transmission grid.
Monday is the deadline for expressing interest to BOEM. The agency on February 3 issued a call for information and nominations.