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 ourselves. 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 and waste to protecting wildlife.

ABOVE: Watch a roundtable discussion with the CVOW project team and the president and CEO of the Virginia Aquarium, Cynthia Spanoulis, as they discuss the project’s environmental protections and take questions from the community.

One measure we implemented while installing the foundations of the pilot turbines was to use a bubble curtain to mitigate sound waves created by pile driving the foundations into the ocean floor. This technique uses multiple air compressors to form two walls of air bubbles, which reduce sound waves in the water and protect marine animals. During the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) permitting process for the commercial project, a thorough study will be conducted to ensure we are continuing to use the best sound mitigation technology or combination of technologies to provide protections for marine mammals.

The CVOW project team also includes certified Protected Species Observers who will be on duty during critical operations. These observers will watch continuously for marine mammals and turtles and will stop operations if species are within exclusion zones. Everyone working aboard our ships 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. Picking the site of the wind turbines, 27 miles off the coast, helps preserve bird life by avoiding migratory paths. Other 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?

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.