Dominion Energy will comply with all state and federal environmental laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and other applicable regulations. 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.

A trenchless installation method 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.

Dominion Energy has studied historical data regarding the intensity of storms impacting the wind energy areas for both the pilot and commercial project. The two pilot turbines currently operating offshore — and the 176 planned for the commercial project — are designed to withstand temperatures, wind and waves in excess of any recorded weather events in the project area. The evaluation included a significant study of available information about winter storm and hurricane wind and wave activity in the Atlantic Ocean over the past century.

We are fully committed to meeting the energy needs of our customers in an environmentally responsible manner. Protecting natural and cultural resources is our duty, not only as a business but as members of these communities ourselves. Our aim is always to do the utmost to protect the land, sea and species that share our natural environment.

This dedication extends across our entire enterprise, informing everything Dominion Energy does — from reducing water use and waste to protecting wildlife to cutting emissions. Some of the environmental evaluations and activities Dominion Energy has undertaken with the CVOW project include:

  • Extensive survey work — more than two dozen studies and surveys — conducted to ensure protections of marine and terrestrial species.
  • Continual monitoring to protect sea life — dolphins, sea turtles and whales — during construction and survey; work is stopped until the area is clear.
  • Protective technology to mitigate sound during construction.
  • Minimizing impacts to sea floor and aquatic life through trenchless installation for onshore cables.

Our team paid special attention to protecting avian species at every step of the process. Practices such as time-of-year restrictions, installing anti-perching devices and acoustic monitoring help protect birds, bats, sea turtles and other marine life.