This region of the East Coast was once the gateway for international exploration and expansion and now has significant potential for the development of offshore wind resources off its coast.
The announcement from Virginia Power about the expansion of a test project came just days after Governor Northam issued an executive order 43 calling on state agencies to develop a plan for Virginia to produce 30% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and to be fully carbon free by 2050.
Currently, there are two Virginia/Carolina Offshore Wind Energy projects underway:
- Avangrid Renewables and its affiliate Kitty Hawk Wind LLC.: Development of 2.5 GW, $5-8bn Kitty Hawk offshore wind energy with two substations in Virginia Beach. Avangrid had recently secured an option from the City in Princess Anne Commons to acquire 20 acres and from the City of Virginia Beach Development Authority in Corporate Landing Business Park to acquire 30 acres to locate the substations. The regional investment is estimated to be between $60 - $310 million including the creation of 11,500 jobs.
- Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind-Dominion Energy: includes two 6-MW turbines on 2,135-acre site which lies 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, generating about 12 megawatts to power 3,000 homes later in 2020. Project's capital cost is $300 million and the major participants are Ørsted for the offshore installation and L.E. Meyers for the onshore installation.
Sustainable Practices, Polices, and Directives
The City of Virginia Beach recognizes the critical importance of environmental sustainability to its long term success, and is committed to fostering the principles of environmental, economic, and social stewardship through the incorporation of sustainable practices, polices, and directives:
Green Building Criteria for New City Buildings
In 2008, the City Council formally adopted a Green Building Criteria for New City Buildings. This Administrative Directive requires each new or renovated city/school building to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver rating at a minimum. To date, there are 35 LEED-certified buildings throughout the city, including the 225,000-square-foot Clark Nexsen office tower in Town Center and the 500,000 sf Virginia Beach Convention Center.
Sustainable Procurement Directive
The purpose of this policy is to address procurement elements of the City's Sustainability Plan. This Sustainable Procurement Directives provides a framework for the procurement of goods and services for minimizing negative impacts on human health and environment while being mindful of fiscal responsibilities.
Energy Management for Municipal Operations Directive
The City's Energy Management Program was established to analyze energy consumption of city buildings, utilities systems, motor vehicles, and improve their energy performance. The program is administered by the City's Energy Office, which monitors city energy usage, and identifies new ways for the city to save money on energy bills as well as become more energy efficient.
Energy-Efficient Buildings Tax Credit
In 2010, Virginia Beach City Council adopted the Energy Efficient Buildings Real Estate Tax Incentive Program to encourage sustainable commercial and residential development. The program reduces the real estate tax by $0.15 per $100 for buildings certified as energy efficient by a qualified licensed engineer or contractor.
Virginia Beach City Public Schools Sustainability Practices
Virginia Beach City Public Schools understands the importance of conserving resources and protecting the environment. The Division has established a Sustainable Schools program with three sustainable goals:
1) Develop a sustainable building infrastructure that requires LEED silver rating for any new or renovated building;
2) Integrate sustainable practices throughout the division to include no-idle policies for buses and purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles;
3) Educate the public about the importance of sustainability beginning in elementary school.
Sea Level Rise Resilience Strategy
What is the City of Virginia Beach doing?
- In 2014, City Council launched the
Comprehensive Sea Level Rise and
Recurrent Flooding Capital Improvement
Program project, which is now known as
Sea Level Wise.
- Beginning in the 2015 budget, City Council provided $3 million in funding for this critical initiative to specifically identify the potential impacts of SLR and develop a comprehensive long-term response plan.
- Also, the City received an $844,000 grant - the Regional Coastal Resiliency Grant - awarded by NOAA's Office for Coastal Management, to further the City's efforts, bringing the total to $3.8 million.
- The City has hired Dewberry, a national consulting firm with significant experience in developing strategies for coastal resiliency, to help with planning for reducing our risk.
- We are identifying short- and long-term measures that will reduce flooding risks for each watershed. These will include combinations of policy measures, flood control structures, and structural engineering and nature-based solutions.
- The City is updating its stormwater master plan concurrently, creating an opportunity to determine how the increased coastal flood elevations will be reflected through the stormwater system and which causes additional interior flooding. Visit this page for more sea level rise information.