Monday, September 19, 2011

Dominion Receives Federal Grant to Evaluate Ways to Reduce Cost of Offshore Wind Generation

  • Partners include National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Virginia Tech, ALSTOM Power, Moffatt & Nichol
  • Two-year, $500,000 grant to pay for energy modeling and analysis
  • Goal is to achieve at least 25 percent reduction in the cost of off-shore generation

RICHMOND, Va.Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion (NYSE: D) has received a two-year,$500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to look for ways to reduce the cost of offshore wind electricity generation by at least 25 percent.

"One of the biggest challenges to off-shore wind generation is bringing down the cost so it can be more competitive with other forms of electric power generation," said Mary C. Doswell, senior vice president-Alternative Energy Solutions. "The intent of the project is to achieve at least 25 percent reduction in the levelized cost of energy relative to a benchmark 600-megawatt power station design by integrating innovations in turbine, foundation, installation and electrical infrastructure into the most optimal combination."

The grant is one of 41 projects across 20 states totaling $43 million over the next five years that the DOE announced on Sept. 8 to speed technical innovations, lower costs, and shorten the timeline for deploying offshore wind energy systems. (See the DOE news release at:

Dominion's partners in its project are the Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute in Arlington, Va.; the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory; ALSTOM Power, an international provider of vital equipment and services for the U.S. power generation markets with a turbine engineering, manufacturing and service center in Richmond; and Moffatt & Nichol, an international maritime engineering firm specializing in structural design, ocean engineering, ports, harbors and marine terminals with local offices in Richmond and Norfolk, Va.

The Dominion-led team will utilize an integrated systems approach for optimizing the hypothetical design of a 600-megawatt offshore wind project located at a variety of reference sites on the Virginia Outer Continental Shelf, as well as other sites on the U.S. Atlantic coastline from Massachusetts through South Carolina, with a foundation and support substructure suitable for installation in water depths ranging from 10 meters to 60 meters.

Dominion also is studying what it would take to build a high-voltage underwater transmission line extending from Virginia Beach out to the potential commercial lease area in the Atlantic Ocean. Dominion plans to complete the study this year, evaluating options to best support multiple offshore wind projects off the coast of Virginia.

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 28,200 megawatts of generation, 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,300 miles of electric transmission lines.  Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website

SOURCE Dominion

CONTACT: Jim Norvelle, +1-804-771-6115,

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Department of Energy Awards $43 Million to Spur Offshore Wind Energy


September 8, 2011 - 9:46am

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced $43 million over the next five years to speed technical innovations, lower costs, and shorten the timeline for deploying offshore wind energy systems. The 41 projects across 20 states will advance wind turbine design tools and hardware, improve information about U.S. offshore wind resources, and accelerate the deployment of offshore wind by reducing market barriers such as supply chain development, transmission and infrastructure. The awards announced today will help the U.S. to compete in the global wind energy manufacturing sector, promote economic development and job creation, and support the development of an emerging industry that will provide clean electricity to American families.

Offshore wind energy can provide access to a vast clean, domestic, renewable resource that can help the United States meet its critical energy, environmental and economic challenges and provide energy to coastal cities where much of the nation’s population and electricity demand lies.

“The U.S. has an abundant offshore wind resource that remains untapped,” said Secretary Chu. “Through these awards, the Department of Energy is developing the critical technology and knowledge base necessary to responsibly develop this resource, enhance our energy security, and create new clean energy jobs.”

The selections announced today focus on technical approaches to advancing offshore technology and approaches to removing market barriers to responsible offshore wind energy deployment. Funding is subject to Congressional appropriations.

Nineteen offshore wind technology development projects will receive $26.5 million to address technical challenges and provide the foundation for a cost-competitive offshore wind industry in the United States. Awardees, in collaboration with industry, will develop the engineering modeling and analysis tools required to lower overall offshore facility costs and to design the next generation of innovative large-scale turbines optimized for installation and operation in the marine environment. These projects include research and development for innovations in key components such as floating support structures and turbine rotor and control subsystems that may lead to capital cost reductions of up to 50 percent.

Twenty-two market barrier removal projects will receive $16.5 million to research factors limiting the deployment of offshore wind in the nation’s coastal and Great Lakes regions. Topic areas include project design factors such as environmental impact assessment and characterization of the offshore wind resource; subjects related to investment and infrastructure development such as categorization of financial risks and long term manufacturing needs and port requirements; and technical offshore wind interface topics such as transmission grid integration, and assessment of potential impact on offshore navigation and communication systems.

Read the full list of award winners.

DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. Learn more about DOE’s efforts to research, test, develop, and deploy innovative wind energy technologies.


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