January 27, 2022

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Virginia signs agreement with Denmark to advance offshore wind industry

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(© Rafa Irusta – stock.adobe.com)

Gov. Ralph Northam has signed an agreement with the Danish Ministry of Climate Energy and Utilities to work together to advance the offshore wind industry.

Virginia and Denmark agree to become partners and to share knowledge of challenges, successes, and best practices when it comes to developing offshore wind and its supply chain in each location.

“We have purposely worked to position Virginia as a leader in offshore wind. Off our coast, we have the first turbines in federal waters, and we have two major wind farmers in development. Our Port of Virginia will the launching point for turbine components on the East Coast. We are well positioned to continue growing in this area,” Northam said. “Denmark has the highest proportion of wind power in the world, and we can learn a great deal from their experience. I thank Denmark for its cooperation and look forward to working together to build this new industry, promote clean energy, and create jobs right here in the Commonwealth.”

“Virginia’s ambition and Denmark’s experience make a perfect partnership. I am therefore very pleased that Denmark and Virginia now establishes new cooperation on offshore wind. Virginia has made an ambitious decision to build a 2.6 gigawatt offshore wind farm by 2026. I hope that our long regulatory experiences within offshore wind can contribute to a successful undertaking in Virginia. At the same time, Denmark can be inspired by new and innovative approaches. Together, we stand stronger in the green transition,” says Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities.

While the two will work on ways to quickly and efficiently develop an offshore wind industry, they will also consider bigger picture items, such as the strategic role of renewable energy, mitigating climate change, and energy security.

“Virginia is all in for offshore wind, and international partners are critical to realizing the Commonwealth’s immense economic potential in this emerging industry,” said Secretary Brian Ball. “Denmark’s track record on offshore wind is impressive, and this partnership signals to the world and the country that Virginia is ready to lead on clean energy.”

“We are grateful to Denmark for offering their expertise. With over 6,000 wind turbines in their country, they bring a lot to the table,” said Virginia Energy Chief Deputy Jennifer Palestrant. “Virginia is all in for offshore wind and our passion for ensuring the success of this industry teamed with their experience in harnessing the wind industry will certainly make an impact on future development.”

Virginia is proud to have two great Danish firms, Orsted and Rose Holm Inc., call the Commonwealth home. Rose Holm Inc. built its first manufacturing facility outside of Denmark in Richmond in 2020 to produce industrial fasteners with a focus on offshore wind.

“Having built the world’s first offshore wind farm in Denmark and installed America’s first turbines in federal waters, our Ørsted team is proud the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Kingdom of Denmark have partnered to help advance the U.S. offshore wind industry,” said David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America. “Building a sustainable offshore wind energy industry in the U.S. requires both international experience and local expertise. This partnership formally establishes the dialogue to achieve this and will help ensure a strong clean energy future that creates good-paying jobs.”

Virginia began its work toward offshore wind development in 2009 and installed the first two turbines in Federal waters in 2020. The Commonwealth is home to the largest naval base in the world and one of the largest ports in the United States. The Port of Virginia is centrally located and will serve as a hub for the United States offshore wind industry.

Virginia will be home to two major offshore wind farms currently under development. The first is the largest offshore wind farm in the United States; the Coastal Virginia Offshore Windfarm. When completed in 2026, it will generate 2.6 gigawatts of power. The second is the Kitty Hawk offshore wind farm being developed by Avangrid Renewables off the coast of North Carolina that will produce 2.5 gigawatts of power.

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