The Port of Virginia is making progress in its effort to become the primary logistics center for the Mid-Atlantic’s growing offshore-wind energy industry as the port today debuted the first shipment of components for Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project.
Last week, crews using specialized handling equipment spent two-and-a-half days offloading eight large monopile foundations at Portsmouth Marine Terminal (PMT). The facility is a former container terminal that is being repurposed by the port to handle the large and heavy components used in the construction of offshore wind turbines. Because of their length and weight — 250-plus feet long and nearly 1,500 tons on average — the monopiles and similar components require a deep-water marine terminal capable of handling the extreme loads.
“We are investing in PMT to ensure it can handle this kind of cargo and it easily passed this first test,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “Our work here is progressing according to schedule and this terminal is well-situated to meet the needs of the CVOW project. There is going to be a lot activity taking place here during the next year, and The Port of Virginia is going to establish itself as the Mid-Atlantic’s logistics hub for offshore wind.”
Portsmouth Marine Terminal is one of the port’s two multi-use terminals in the Norfolk Harbor. The 287-acre facility is located on deep water, has on-dock rail access and offers ample open space for storage/staging.
Additionally, the port is investing more than $220 million to reinforce the pavement of the terminal’s cargo yard, rebuild the berth and rework the vessel mooring configuration. In the Norfolk Harbor there are no overhead obstructions to restrict the movement of large cargo or specialized vessels, like those that will be used in building and erecting the offshore wind turbines. The CVOW project will consist of the construction of 176 offshore wind turbines situated on a lease site 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach.
“This a strategic decision by Dominion Energy to take advantage of Virginia’s world-class port,” Edwards said. “By welcoming Dominion Energy and allowing it to leverage PMT, the port is contributing to the development of an almost entirely new industry. The result is job creation, economic investment, diversification of the Virginia economy and clean, renewable energy.”