Wind power in Virginia

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2003 US Department of Energy wind resource map of Virginia

Wind power in Virginia is in the early stages of development. In March 2015, Virginia became the first state in the United States to receive a wind energy research lease to build and operate offshore wind turbines in federal waters.[1] As of 2019, Virginia had no utility scale wind farms.

The Virginia Clean Economy Act of 2020 directs the construction of 16,100 MW of solar power and onshore wind and up to 5,200 MW of offshore wind by 2035, bringing the state's utility-delivered power to 100% renewable energy by 2045.[2]

Wind Development Authority[edit]

The Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority was created by 2010 legislation to facilitate, coordinate, and support development of the offshore wind energy industry, offshore wind energy projects, and supply chain vendors and to ways to encourage and expedite offshore wind industry development. It attempts to collect metocean and environmental data, identify regulatory and administrative barriers, work with government agencies to upgrade port and logistic facilities and sites, and ensure development is compatible with other ocean uses and avian/marine wildlife.[3]

Wind for Schools[edit]

Sponsored by the Department of Energy, the Wind for Schools program has installed small scale wind turbines for educational use at schools throughout state to encourages the incorporation of renewable energy education into the K-12 science curriculum through the Virginia Center for Wind at James Madison University[4][5][6] and built by Baker Renewable Energy. The first went up at Northumberland Middle and High School at Heathsville. Other locations include Luray High School [7] and Chesapeake High School.[8] In 2012 turbines were installed at Central High School in Woodstock and Thomas Harrison Middle School in Harrisonburg.[9]


The Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project (VOWTAP) is a program to establish offshore wind farms in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia.[10] In May 2014, Dominion Virginia Power was awarded $47 million from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to help fund the construction of a 12-megawatt demonstration project, consisting of two 6-megawatt offshore wind turbines.[11] It intended to have them in full operation in 2017, but postponed the project since the single bid for construction was too high.[12] Some exploratory boring off the coast has taken place.[13]

Rocky Forge Wind[edit]

Rocky Forge Wind was announced in 2015 and originally planned scheduled to be operational by 2017; Delays have set back the projected opening until 2020.[14][15]


Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind is a 2- turbine offshore pilot project about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach was begun in 2019.[16][17][18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Daily Press (25 March 2015). "Virginia has become the first state to secure a wind energy research lease in federal waters - Daily Press". Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  2. ^ Vogelsong, Sarah (2020-03-06). "Virginia Clean Economy Act clears General Assembly, aided by beefed-up ratepayer protections". Virginia Mercury. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  3. ^ "Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority". Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  4. ^ "Virginia Center for Wind Energy".
  5. ^ "WINDExchange: Virginia to Complete Two More Wind for Schools Turbine Installations: A Wind Powering America Success Story".
  6. ^ "VIRGINIA: First Wind for Schools Project Turbine Installed".
  7. ^ "Wind For Schools Wind Turbine Installation". Baker Renewable Energy.
  8. ^ "Wind turbine to soon help power Grassfield High". The Virginian-Pilot.
  9. ^ Flowers, Larry (December 20, 2012). "Two wind turbines Installed as part of Virginia Wind for Schools Program". Into the Wind. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Virginia Offshore Wind Technology Advancement Project". Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  11. ^ "Dominion Virginia to be first U.S. utility in offshore wind". Utility Dive. 14 May 2014.
  12. ^ "USA: 12MW VOWTAP to be delayed". Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  13. ^ "Dominion Virginia Power starting test borings for offshore wind energy project".
  14. ^ McGowan, Elizabeth (January 22, 2019). "Virginia's first onshore wind farm project is still 'very much alive'". Energy News Network. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  15. ^ "Rocky Forge Wind". Rocky Forge Wind. Retrieved Apr 20, 2020.
  16. ^ "- The Washington Post". Washington Post. Retrieved Apr 20, 2020.
  17. ^ Vogelsong, Sarah. "Virginia's first offshore wind project gets underway". Retrieved Apr 20, 2020.
  18. ^ "Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind | Dominion Energy". Retrieved Apr 20, 2020.