A $200 million wind turbine-manufacturing facility is coming to Portsmouth, Va., bringing hundreds of jobs with it.
Governor Ralph Northam announced Monday that Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy would build the first offshore wind turbine blade facility in the United States on an 80-acre section of the Portsmouth Marine Terminal.
Siemens Gamesa was chosen by Dominion Energy as its partner for its Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project, 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. Its new facility will produce turbine blades for offshore wind projects all over North America.
The new facility and its operations and maintenance will create 310 new jobs, including about 50 service jobs for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project. It will cost $200 million, of which $80 million will go towards buildings and equipment at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal.
Once fully constructed in 2026, Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project will generate enough clean, sustainable energy to power up to 660,000 homes at peak and avoid as much as 5 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, the company says.
A law passed 18 months ago, the Virginia Clean Economy Act, sets a target for Dominion Energy to build or buy at least 5,200 megawatts of energy through offshore wind by 2034 and to achieve 100 percent carbon-free energy production by 2045.
“Virginians want renewable energy, our employers want it, and Virginia is delivering it,” said Governor Ralph S. Northam. “This is good news for energy customers, the union workers who will bring this project to life, and our business partners … Virginia is building a new industry in renewable energy, with more new jobs to follow, and that’s good news for our country.”
While there are a handful of other offshore wind projects planned for the Mid-Atlantic, including one off the coast of Ocean City, Md., this is only the second active project, Virginia leaders note.
“The Port of Virginia is proud to be able to help with the development of an entirely new industry that will spur job growth, drive our economy, and create the U.S. East Coast’s offshore-wind logistics hub right here in Portsmouth,” said Stephen A. Edwards, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority. “The industry is going to be closely watching Virginia and this port and we welcome the interest. We have a very unique opportunity to set ourselves apart by being at the forefront of this movement to create clean, renewable energy along the East Coast.”
–Meg Walburn Viviano