Dominion to start test borings for offshore wind project in US
Dominion Virginia Power is using the US-flagged Inez Eymard vessel to obtain core samples required to go ahead with its plans to construct wind turbines 27 miles off the coast.
The 110-foot long lift vessel will periodically be located off the shore of Camp Pendleton during July 2014 to complete 15 geotechnical borings from 300ft to 3,300ft.
The company will use the samples to identify soil characteristics like composition and strength for finalizing the wind turbine foundations design.
Dominion has secured two US Department of Energy grants totaling $51 m for its wind turbine demonstration project.
If approved, the company proposes to construct two 6MW turbines and test design features aimed to reduce the construction cost and maintenance as well as withstand hurricane-force winds.
Dominion senior vice-president of business development and generation construction Paul Ruppert said the proposed project provides an interesting opportunity to develop renewable offshore wind energy for Virginia.
"Both the demonstration project and the commercial venture tie into our strategy of promoting a diverse generating mix that includes nuclear, natural gas, coal, hydro, solar and sustainable wind while providing our customers with reliable and affordable electricity," Ruppert said.
Dominion owns the lease on 112,800 acres of commercial wind area adjacent to the demonstration project.
The company still needs to secure various regulatory approvals after which major construction may start in 2017 and the wind turbines would commence operations later that year.
Image: Dominion secured two US Department of Energy grants totaling $51 m for its wind turbine demonstration project. Photo: Courtesy of Dominion Virginia Power.