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).
There have been two other important developments related to the wind project.
- Dominion has applied to the State Corporation Commission to increase the amounts its ratepayers will be contributing to the construction costs. For residential customers that is currently $4.74 for every 1,000 kilowatt hours of usage and Dominion want to increase it to $8.63 as of next summer. It is still not in compliance with the state law that gave an exemption from that charge to low income customers, claiming it lacks a list of such customers.
- Dominion’s principal turbine supplier, Europe’s Siemens Gamesa, has abandoned its plans to site a factory supporting the United States wind expansion in Portsmouth. That is a huge blow to Virginia’s dream of being an industry hub. (News was withheld by the state until after the election.) Both the company and many American projects are under huge financial pressure, as the press release on the possible lawsuit notes below. Today we learn German taxpayers may bail out Virginia’s ratepayers.
From Virginia to Germany, Danke Schoen.