Dominion Energy will comply with a number of state and federal environmental laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. The wind farm will be designed and operated to avoid and minimize adverse impacts to the environment. We must complete local, state and federal regulatory permitting processes, which will ensure impact avoidance and minimization measures are employed during construction and operations of the project, prior to receiving final authorization to proceed with construction from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Horizontal directional drilling will be used to minimize environmental impacts to the sea bottom and aquatic life when bringing the cables onto shore. Observers will be posted near the construction activities to look for protected species in the area. If these species are located within the exclusion zone, work will be stopped.

It’s our goal to reduce our environmental impact wherever and whenever possible. That’s why Dominion Energy has set a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas and methane emissions across our 16 states by 2050.

The wind industry continues to tackle this issue and find solutions for the safe disposal of wind turbine blades. Using current technology, the vast majority of wind turbine blades can be recovered, reused or repurposed. One company has even developed a method to break down blades and press them into pellets and fiber boards used for flooring and walls. There is a small percentage of a wind turbine blade that cannot be repurposed; the material is landfill-safe and represents a small fraction of overall U.S. municipal solid waste.

Given the 25-year lifespan of turbine blades and our partnerships in advancing the U.S. wind industry, we anticipate technology to advance over time, enabling us to further reduce any environmental or sustainability issues that may arise.

No. The lease area in which we will construct the project was identified through an intergovernmental task force created by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in 2009. The lease area was selected after extensive collaboration between the Commonwealth and stakeholders to avoid existing uses of the area, including ecological habitats, military training areas, marine vessel traffic, dredge disposal sites and other areas of concern.

Will this project threaten birds?

Siting the project approximately 27 miles offshore is expected to reduce impacts to birds because most species stay relatively close to shore. The high-density area where most birds/bird communities are found is within about two miles of shore. Fewer birds and bird communities are encountered further offshore.

Dominion Energy performed a full year of site-specific avian surveys and determined that bird activity is relatively low within the offshore portion of the project. In the environmental impact assessment, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management concluded that impacts to avian resources due to collisions with the turbine blades are expected to range from negligible to minor.

Threaten Birds