Tag Archives: CVOW

Investor in Dominion Wind Buys $150M Island

Experience in Iowa just proved this earlier destruction of an onshore turbine was a harbinger of things to come. See below.

By Steve Haner

One of the leaders of investment firm Stonepeak, which is buying a 50% share in Dominion Energy’s Virginia Virginia Beach wind project, just bought a private island.  The story is reported by the New York Post, which mentions his role in the major investment firm but doesn’t make the connection to the 176 turbines now under construction.

I’d love to share the photos but don’t want to test the copyright limits. Check out the story and luxury home pics on the Post website yourselves.

I’m sorry, aren’t we being told that we have to have that multi-billion dollar boondoggle to protect us from a horrible future destroyed by climate change? That without offshore wind displacing natural gas, the sea will rise faster than a soufflé and hurricanes will be more frequent and far more powerful? This bright guy getting rich off Virginia ratepayer money doesn’t seem to buy that hype.

To be fair, the deal between Dominion and Stonepeak is still under review at the State Corporation Commission. Stonepeak has plenty of other profitable investments that paid for this house. Continue reading

Views on Tobacco Disqualify Defender of Whales?

By Steve Haner

It was disappointing to the see the Richmond Times-Dispatch stoop to a weak ad hominem argument on its front page on May 6, seeking to discredit a legal challenge to the Dominion Energy Virginia wind project by labeling the plaintiffs as “climate deniers” and defenders of tobacco. Continue reading

Wind Project Sued Over Claimed Threat to Whales

NOAA Right Whale status graphic, updated this month to report 123 recent deaths and injuries.

By Steve Haner

A coalition of public interest groups has now filed its expected lawsuit seeking to halt construction of Dominion Energy Virginia’s offshore wind facility off Virginia Beach. Its key complaint is the federal permits were issued without a full and fair evaluation of the potential impact of the turbines on the shrinking North Atlantic Right Whale population. Continue reading

See, Hear, Speak No Evil on Four Whale Deaths

The Daily Press credits Jennette’s Pier for these two photos it published.

Another whale has turned up dead on a beach, the fourth found on Virginia or North Carolina beaches within one week, several within sight of Dominion Energy Virginia’s offshore turbine project.  This one was identified as a juvenile sperm whale and is the furthest from the project site.

In all the news coverage so far, no intrepid reporter has told their viewers or readers what (if anything) is going on out in the ocean on the construction site. Dominion’s federal license allowing “incidental take” of marine mammals began its five-year effective period in early February. It would be fair to ask the utility if contractors are actively surveying the sea floor with sonar at this time or doing any preliminary pile driving. Continue reading

Is Dominion-Stonepeak Deal a Partnership Flip?

By Steve Haner

Dominion Energy Virginia insists that its decision to sell a half-interest in the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project “won’t impact ratepayers.” The problem is, perhaps it should. Perhaps Dominion is creating additional value for its shareholders that instead should benefit ratepayers. Continue reading

EPA Told CVOW Wake Has Air Quality Impacts

One of two dead whales washed onto Virginia Beach so far this month, just onshore from the CVOW project. WAVY reports on it.

By David Wojick

In formal comments, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess the adverse impact of the giant Virginia offshore wind project on air and water quality. The issue is far-reaching because all big offshore wind facilities could have these adverse effects. Continue reading

NJ Greenmailed Into Massive Wind Energy Costs

By Steve Haner

New Jersey just agreed to two ocean wind projects with astronomical guaranteed power prices. The price demanded and received by independent competitive suppliers shows there is at least some upside to the utility-owned, captive ratepayer-financed model behind Dominion Energy Virginia’s massive offshore wind facility.

In late 2023 the news was full of reports that independent wind developers were pulling out of various projects along the East Coast because the projects were no longer economically viable. Those who thought the future of the industry was in jeopardy were wrong. Continue reading

Dominion Wind May Be Sued, Hikes Customer Bills

The first eight monopile bases for Dominion Energy’s CVOW project arrive on the Portsmouth waterfront. But a planned German-owned wind turbine blade factory nearby ist kaput.

by Steve Haner

Two national activist groups on energy and environmental issues, both with connections to Virginia, have taken the first legal steps to challenge the recent federal approvals for Virginia’s planned offshore wind complex.  Most of what follows is directly from their announcement dated November 14.

The Heartland Institute and the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) are filing with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) a 60 Day Notice of Intent to Sue letter for a violation of the Endangered Species Act. The violation is contained in a defective “biological opinion,” which authorizes the construction of Dominion Energy Virginia’s Virginia Offshore Wind Project (VOW). Continue reading

Dominion’s Wind Project Wins Federal Approval

Norfolk Virginian-Pilot photo of the first eight monopiles for Dominion’s offshore wind project, celebrated at a ceremony last Thursday upon their delivery.

The Biden Administration’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has issued final approval for the construction of Dominion Energy Virginia’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project. Here is the release. A few more steps remain and should be completed by late January, according to BOEM.

The announcement, fully expected since all previous U.S. projects have been similarly approved, followed by a few days the arrival of the first set of gigantic monopiles, the first eight of the 176 structures Dominion will build about 27 miles or more off Virginia Beach.

The only coverage of their arrival was provided by The Virginian-Pilot. Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) attended and has praised the project all along. The paper provided only an indirect quote from his remarks:

The project is also at the heart of Virginia’s all-of-the-above approach to energy production, which aims to make energy cheap and plentiful by employing fossil fuels, nuclear and growing green energy, said Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who attended the event.

Continue reading

NY Ratepayers Better Protected Than Virginia’s

Illustration of planned Equinor offshore wind installation off the coast of New York State. Equinor was one of the developers asking for a price increase, which was rejected.

By Steve Haner

The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) last week told several offshore wind developers it would not approve changes in their state contracts, putting several planned ocean turbine projects into jeopardy.  The story is important for its contrast to how Virginia faces the same future. Continue reading

NJ Democrats Tacking Away from Wind Power

by Steve Haner

First published this morning by the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy.

Virginia is one of only two states that hold their major legislative elections this odd-numbered year, with the other being New Jersey. In New Jersey, the state’s offshore wind aspirations have become a major political issue, with even Democrats now starting to question the wisdom of the plan.

The Democrats control new Jersey, so it is noteworthy that both leading Democratic legislators, the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate, signed a joint statement expressing concern about “unanswered questions” as the state’s Board of Public Utilities goes full speed ahead on its wind projects. The turnabout is even more dramatic because the same legislators just weeks ago voted to give the private wind developers of the first project a more profitable deal at ratepayer expense. The company was one of those complaining its project was not financially feasible under the original terms.

New Jersey has become a major hotspot for political opposition to offshore wind, in part because the planned projects are often closer to shore and will be more visible from beach homes and tourist areas than the project off Virginia Beach. There is also more focus in that media market on the unexplained spike in whale deaths, now reportedly up to 60 since December of last year.

The same questions of cost and tourism impact remain unanswered in Virginia, but so far there is no sign many candidates are seeking to enter the legislature with promises to reverse course on our $10 billion project, if that is possible at this point. Dominion Energy Virginia intends to build a second wave of turbines, however, and the next few General Assembly sessions will have every opportunity to change the rules for that tranche. Continue reading

Dominion “Bill Relief” Disappears September 1

By Steve Haner

Homeowners willing to cut back power usage when Dominion Energy Virginia asks them could earn rebates of up to $28 a year. So reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch, citing yet another final order from the State Corporation Commission.

The Richmond paper is always bringing us such great news about the folks at the giant utility looking out for us. The headline in the print edition today is even more positive: “New Rebate Program Could Lower Power Bills.”

Who is actually going to provide the $28 in hard cash? Yep, Bacon’s Rebellion readers get it on the first try. Dominion will raise the rebate money given to the few by raising its cost of electricity to everybody. Even the people getting rebates will pay the surcharge. But your bill just goes up a bit — so little you won’t notice the increase starting on September 1.

You also won’t notice it because the increase in the energy efficiency program’s rate adjustment clause (a separate charge also known as a RAC or rider), is just one of several such increases, all hitting September 1.

The higher bill totals will be creeping into your email and snail mail inboxes along with all the campaign brochures about how the 2023 General Assembly provided “bill relief.” That is gone in a puff of smoke. Come September 1 Dominion customers also start paying for, or start paying more for: Continue reading

Why Dominion Stays Calm in Wind Industry Storm

By Steve Haner

First published by Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy.  There is some overlap with a post from last week by another author,  but with a slightly different focus.  

With growing  turmoil in the offshore wind industry finally being reported, it would be nice to turn the clock back a year and revisit the State Corporation Commission’s failed 2022 effort to impose a real performance standard on Dominion Energy Virginia’s $10 billion, 176-turbine project.  No such luck, Virginia. Continue reading

Dominion Hides Huge Offshore Wind Cost-Risk

by David Wojik

The offshore wind industry is suffering a runaway cost crisis, but Dominion Energy says the cost of its monster project will not go up. Apparently, there is not even a risk of it going up. This preposterous claim is worth exploring.

On the crisis side, I recently wrote about it in general terms. See my https://www.cfact.org/2023/07/26/offshore-wind-has-a-cost-crisis/.

The financial magazine Barron’s has done some work on this crisis situation. Here is a telling quote from a recent article:

But behind the scenes, the news about wind power is more sobering. Financially, the industry is teetering, with a parade of companies planning to renegotiate or pull out of contracts, jeopardizing plans for projects that were expected to provide electricity for millions of homes. Inflation is erasing profits, causing some of the largest energy firms in the world to back away. “Returns on offshore wind are becoming more and more challenged,” Shell CEO Wael Sawan told Barron’s last month, just days after a Shell joint venture said it would pull out of a power contract in Massachusetts. Shell won’t build renewable projects that can’t earn initial returns of 6% to 8%, he said. Continue reading

First Lawsuit Over Whales and Wind Dismissed

Vineyard Wind 1, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Click for larger view.

By Steve Haner

A federal district judge in Massachusetts has rejected an effort to stop an offshore wind project near Nantucket Island on the basis of danger to whales, apparently the first court test of similar claims being raised against wind turbine proposals along the U.S. eastern seaboard, including here in Virginia.

On May 17, U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani granted a motion for summary judgement to the federal agency that approved the Vineyard Wind One project. With a planned 84 turbines, the project is about half the size of Dominion Energy Virginia’s planned project off Virginia Beach. Both are just the first phases of larger planned buildouts. Continue reading