Environmental Stewardship

Our team of marine biologists and environmental scientists are fully committed to ensuring we are 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. We live here too. We are going above and beyond to protect the land, sea and species that share our environment.

The waters off the Atlantic Coast are full of a diverse range of marine life. We took extensive precautions to protect these sensitive ocean creatures while constructing the pilot project. All the knowledge we gained during the pilot project will now be used to inform the commercial project. This commitment to the environment extends across our entire footprint, informing everything we do — from cutting emissions to reducing water use to protecting wildlife.

One measure we implemented while installing the foundations of the pilot turbines was to use a bubble curtain. This technique uses multiple air compressors to form two walls of air bubbles, which acts as a noise barrier, reducing sound waves created by pile driving the foundation into the ocean floor and protecting marine mammals. During the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) permitting process for the commercial project, a thorough review will be conducted to ensure we are continuing to use the best sound mitigation technology or combination of technologies as well as having extensive monitoring in place to continue to provide protections for marine mammals.

Installing the foundations of the pilot turbines

The CVOW project team will also include certified Protected Species Observers who will be on duty during critical operations. These observers will watch continuously from the project vessels for marine mammals and sea turtles and will stop operations if species are within exclusion zones. Everyone working aboard our project vessels will have environmental training, including how to identify certain marine species. The project team also will monitor underwater sounds in real-time.

Learn more about some of the environmental protections we have implemented for the CVOW project:

900 jobs

Prior to constructing the pilot turbines,

more than two dozen studies and surveys were conducted to ensure protection of ocean life and avian species

Continual Monitoring

Throughout construction of the pilot turbines, continual monitoring was undertaken

to ensure sea life — dolphins, sea turtles and whales  did not enter the construction zone during installation; if spotted by observers, construction was stopped until the area was clear

Special Precautions

Every precaution is being taken

to ensure the safety of the North Atlantic right whale

Plans to Recycle

Plans to reuse, recycle, or responsibly dispose of

offshore and onshore project components; special care given to artificial reefs during decommissioning

Mitigated Sound

Protective technology

mitigated sound generated during construction

Horizontal Drilling

Minimizing impacts

to sea floor and aquatic life through horizontal drilling 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.

Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind is committed to protecting the environment, from cutting emissions to reducing water use and waste to protecting wildlife and birds.


Still Have Questions?

See Environmental FAQs

Will this project threaten birds?

With the project area located 27 to 42 miles offshore, the turbines are outside the typical flight paths of many birds and bats, however, we do know some species fly in the vicinity of the project area. We are utilizing the latest technology to measure and monitor potential bird and bat activity in the area of our two-turbine pilot project. We are also performing boat-based avian surveys on a periodic basis to determine the density of birds in the project area at different times of the year.

The information gathered from this monitoring will be used to assess species populations in the project area, which will allow us to evaluate any potential impacts to bird and bat species for the commercial project.

We will also continue to work with state and federal agencies as well as interested groups to develop a specific monitoring strategy to address those impacts.