‘Where the Game Is’ – Virginia Business

The region aims to become a East Coast beach wind hub


September 29, 2021

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Elizabeth Cooper

As Dominion Energy approaches construction on the coastal wind farm, business leaders are planning to build more turbine units on Hampton Road.  Photo by Mark Rhodes

As Dominion Energy approaches construction on the coastal wind farm, business leaders are planning to build more turbine units on Hampton Road. Photo by Mark Rhodes

With a percentage of North America’s largest ports, congested free canals and the country’s top maritime staff, Hampton Roads is preparing for a course to become the center of the East Coast supply chain for the marine industry.

Those characteristics, according to local leaders, separated the region in the race to build a carbon-neutral energy sector. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that offshore wind farms will support up to 86,000 jobs and generate $ 25 billion in economic growth by 2030.

Currently, the projects rely on the European supply chain for their huge turbines, knives, generators and bases, but exporting those strategies to the United States is expensive, time consuming and dangerous. That’s why the East Coast states are eager to cut the middle by producing parts of the United States and delivering projects on the Atlantic coast.

Hampton Roads provides a deep, wide port, free of air constraints on bridges and other overhead structures, a large number of terminal facilities and coastal industrial sites, as well as a large manpower skilled in shipbuilding and shipbuilding. Strong sales points to deceive companies involved in the production, installation and maintenance of offshore wind turbines. In addition, the state provides incentives for business, such as lower taxes and labor costs and a few regulations.

The industry is now born in the United States, and all the states it owns [offshore wind] Matt Smith, director of the Hampton Roads Alliance Coastal Business Development Project, is passionate about the economy. We have many advantages over Hampton Road with port structure and manpower, but we have a race to be the fourth pillar. [the region’s] Economy, ”after the military, the port of Virginia and tourism.

According to Glenn-based Mangum Economics Analysis of Economic Impact, the East Coast coastal wind industry supports approximately 5,200 Virginia-based projects — primarily on Hampton Roads — as businesses help to develop a new gigabyte of wind power each year. At that rate, $ 270 million was spent on wind turbines in terms of costs and benefits, $ 740 million in regional economic impact, $ 21 million in local government revenue for Hampton Roads, and $ 18 million in tax revenue in Virginia.

Central level

Many of its benefits come from Dominion Energy Inc. Out of the planned 2.6-gigawatt, $ 7.8 billion Coastal Virginia Coast wind project. A.D. Designed to be completed by 2026, the beach wind farm will include about 180 giant wind turbines built in federal waters 27 miles off the coast of Virginia. About 900 jobs will be created during the construction period and 1,100 jobs and repairs will be created during the approximately 30 years of the project. That could cost the region $ 210 million.

Hampton Roads is also ready to support the development of the 2,500 MW project at the North Carolina Kitty Hawk Coast Avengrid Renewal Project. The project is expected to create more than 800 jobs and have a $ 2 billion impact on Virginia and North Carolina economies over the next decade.

Shawn Averie, president and CEO of Hampton Roads Council, said more than 120 titles are unique to the coastal wind industry. “Everyone [skill] Levels, from high school graduates to community college and four-year graduates. He really does. ”

Engineers and scientists, along with trained professionals such as welder and electricians, are needed to support overseas wind farms.

About 90% of the skills required in the coastal wind industry are related to those in other local marine industries. “Hampton Roads are built on these skill sets,” says Averry. We have a lot of resources to make the beach wind supply chain center.

Earlier this year, the state established the Central Atlantic Training College at Virginia Beach Centra College, the Central Atlantic Maritime Academy, and the Martinsville New College Institute. Community colleges and universities offer similar training opportunities.

Last year, Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland partnered to become the hub for the southeastern coastline. “Each state plays on each other’s strengths and works together, so companies see us as a group of states that provide a crossroads of strengths,” Smith said. That makes us more competitive overall.

With a satellite office in Germany, the Hampton Roads Alliance sells Hampton Roads property to European companies, taking into account the production of wind turbines and knives in the United States. As companies, we understand our strengths and make ourselves part of the supply chain.

Earlier this year, a study by the North Carolina Department of Commerce noted that the Portsmouth Marine terminal and the Lambert Point Dox Inch are ready to support offshore wind production. Danish Renewable Energy Company ስት Rest is leasing part of the Portsmouth Marine terminal from the port of Virginia to standardize coastal wind projects in six states. In August, Dominican reached an agreement with the port to lease part of the Portsmouth Marine terminal as a pre-preparation and pre-meeting venue for the required turbines for the Virginia Coast wind project.

Wind Trade

Hampton Roads is also looking to expand its $ 500 million Dominican, 472-foot wind turbine. Under construction in Brownsville, Texas, the ship is expected to be operational by 2023 as it transports materials for two coastal wind farms under construction in New England. Charibedis is the country’s first coastal ship in compliance with Jones’ law requiring shipments between US ports. “Living as America’s only wind turbine is the only thing that will help us become the center of gravity for the industry,” said Smith.

“The next three years are crucial to attracting companies and developing the region as a supply chain,” said Robert Krem, executive director of the Hampton Roads Planning Commission.

This summer, the HRPDC Board of Trustees approved a resolution calling for the creation of a $ 30 million economic development fund by the General Assembly to offset costs for companies’ training and certification, new product development and equipment upgrades. “Sometimes the process by which businesses move to support the supply chain is costly and time consuming,” says Winter notes. We think this fund will help companies offset costs.

Companies that inspect the Hampton Roads Coast wind industry have access to the region through the Virginia Coastal Air Station, and are interested in establishing and collaborating on seafront and marine companies in Norfolk. The site is a partnership between Virginia Energy (formerly the Virginia Department of Mines, Mines and Energy); Hampton Roads Alliance; And the OpenSeas Technology Innovation Center of the Old Dominion University.

Nancy Gridon, executive director of growth and innovation, said it was “a very good combination.” Interested companies can gather and learn about what is happening here.

“If we do our job right, we will see the growth of new companies, and existing companies will create new business lines and attract new companies,” said Jerry Krone, CEO of OpenSeas Technology Center. Designed to address challenges and opportunities in the marine industry, the center helps companies market marine innovations.

“There are broad implications,” he added. “Something that has been done with the wind may be useful to the ports or the navy. Hampton Roads is where the game is located It is happening. ”

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