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Virginia Should Be Doing This, but Thanks to Dirty Dominion Power It Isn’t


In case you missed the news, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that his state “plans to build enough offshore wind capacity by 2030 to power 1.25 million New York homes, starting with a 90-megawatt project 30 miles off Montauk on Long Island’s South Fork.”

So why isn’t Virginia doing this, even though we have massive offshore wind power resources, likely enough to power the entire state (note: on this topic, Gov. McAuliffe should go back and read his “big ideas” paper on energy from his 2009 gubernatorial campaign; he should also note that the cost of offshore wind has PLUMMETED since then and is likely to continue falling for the indefinite future)? Simple answer: Dominion Power and its bought-and-paid/”captured” for legislature, regulatory agencies, etc. The long answer? See the simple answer, basically, plus add in a lack of willingness by our “leaders” to tell Dominion where to shove it.

  • A_Siegel

    While I would love to see offshore wind developing in Virginia (okay, off VA’s coasts) and recognize DomVaPower’s role in placing obstacles (“Dominion VA Power: Global Warming Starts Here”: http://bluevirginia.us/2015/06/dominion-global-warming-starts-here-power-to-sponsor-blue-virginia) before it, also useful to recognize/acknowledge some key differences:

    * New York has a stressed electricity system, with the New York City market high priced and the ability to bring in power from elsewhere constrained. Wind off the City (off Rockaway, for example, or Long Island) would be competing against >$0.10 per kWh electricity.
    * Virginia has a relatively less stressed electricity system, reasonable (far from perfect but better than NY) distribution networks, and has relatively low cost electricity.

    Wind resources are better off New York, New York has more stress in its electricity market, & NYC electricity prices are essentially double VA prices — these are some reasons why offshore wind is an ‘easier sell’ there than in VA.

    NOTE: Again, I support Virginia developing its offshore wind resources but piggybacking on New England developments (where electricity prices are much higher) could enable a better ‘phased’ approach for the industry. At a minimum, though, should be seeking reasonable size ‘demo’ project (>50 mWh, let’s say) to ‘start the ball rolling’

  • Quizzical