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Dominion Energy delays construction for Virginia Beach offshore wind farm, says lawsuit won’t affect timeline

The Virginian-Pilot|Trevor Metcalfe|May 9, 2024
VirginiaGeneralOffshore Wind

Dominion Energy has delayed installation of the first batch of offshore wind turbine bases for its Virginia Beach wind farm until next week, but a spokesperson said an ongoing lawsuit will have no impact on the construction timeline. Installation of the wind turbine monopiles, which was expected to begin this week, has been delayed until as soon as next week, said Dominion spokesperson Jeremy Slayton. He said a slight delay in the arrival of an installation support vessel due to required maintenance pushed back the start date.


Dominion Energy has delayed installation of the first batch of offshore wind turbine bases for its Virginia Beach wind farm until next week, but a spokesperson said an ongoing lawsuit will have no impact on the construction timeline.

Installation of the wind turbine monopiles, which was expected to begin this week, has been delayed until as soon as next week, said Dominion spokesperson Jeremy Slayton. He said a slight delay in the arrival of an installation support vessel due to required maintenance pushed back the start date.

However, Slayton said the Orion, the large ship which will transport and install the monopiles, has completed its maintenance and is ready to go.

“There have been no changes to our expectations for the 2024 …

... more [truncated due to possible copyright]

Dominion Energy has delayed installation of the first batch of offshore wind turbine bases for its Virginia Beach wind farm until next week, but a spokesperson said an ongoing lawsuit will have no impact on the construction timeline.

Installation of the wind turbine monopiles, which was expected to begin this week, has been delayed until as soon as next week, said Dominion spokesperson Jeremy Slayton. He said a slight delay in the arrival of an installation support vessel due to required maintenance pushed back the start date.

However, Slayton said the Orion, the large ship which will transport and install the monopiles, has completed its maintenance and is ready to go.

“There have been no changes to our expectations for the 2024 installation season,” Slayton said in a text message.

Slayton also said an ongoing federal lawsuit, which alleges the wind turbine construction would harm endangered North Atlantic right whales, will not delay construction. The company wrote in recent court filings that it plans to install 96 monopiles between May 1 and Oct. 31, a window of time when North Atlantic right whales are not expected to be migrating near the project area.

A group of anti-offshore wind organizations, including the conservative Heartland Institute, filed a lawsuit in March against Dominion and federal agencies overseeing the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project seeking to stop construction.

The group was seeking to stop Dominion’s plans to begin construction of the turbines, claiming the project was a danger to the whales. Installation was expected to commence sometime between May 6-8. On April 29, the group filed a petition seeking a preliminary injunction to delay construction until completion of a new biological opinion from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

In a response filed Monday opposing the petition, Dominion said the petition was an 11th-hour attempt to stall the installation, and the delay in filing the petition indicates a lack of irreparable harm. The response also noted other legal efforts to stall offshore wind have been rejected by courts.

The lawsuit plaintiffs have until Friday to file a reply. After that, U.S. District Judge Loren AliKhan is expected to rule on the preliminary injunction request.

There is no scientific evidence linking wind farm construction to whale deaths, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA attributes many of the whale deaths to vessel strikes and entanglement.

The $9.8 billion wind farm, 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, will generate enough electricity to power up to 660,000 homes, according to Dominion. Construction is planned to continue until the end of 2026.


Source:https://www.pilotonline.com/2…

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