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DIVISION OF ENERGY

DMME Completes Offshore Wind Power Port Readiness Evaluation


BOW Terminal, located in the port of Vlissingen in the Netherlands

BOW Terminal, located in the port of Vlissingen in the Netherlands, is dedicated to serving the needs of the offshore wind industry.

DMME Commissioned a team led by BVG Associates to evaluate 10 Virginia ports for their readiness to accommodate seven different offshore wind manufacturing and construction activities, including:

  • Blade manufacturing
  • Generator manufacturing
  • Nacelle assembly
  • Tower manufacturing
  • Foundation manufacturing
  • Submarine cable manufacturing, and
  • Construction staging.

The team also evaluated five Virginia commercial shipyards for their readiness to manufacture offshore electrical substations.

 

 

NOTE: This study is not meant to advocate for specific port improvements or for realignment for any particular use of Virginia ports. It is instead a high-level evaluation to inform policy makers on possible optional uses of port infrastructure should an offshore wind industry develop off the east coast.

 

Drawing on intelligence from established offshore wind industry suppliers, the study team  developed a set of optimal requirements for each offshore wind activity. The requirements included the waterside infrastructure, the onshore infrastructure for the activities themselves and the access requirements for vessels associated with offshore wind activities, excluding the buildings or equipment that would be used for each activity.

Virginia has a thriving port and shipbuilding sector and the ports were chosen by the Virginia DMME as having significant available areas of land adjacent to quaysides. Other ports are likely to be suitable for offshore wind activities if they become available.

offshore wind turbine tower section.

Virginia's skilled workforce and its location along the east coast make it an ideal location for manufacturing wind turbine components, such as this offshore wind turbine tower section.

 

Through dialog with property owners, site visits and desktop research, the team built up a database of characteristics for the 10 ports and then assessed the readiness of each port for each offshore wind activity in turn.

For some activities in some ports, necessary upgrades are either unfeasible or likely to be uneconomic, in which case they were excluded from further evaluation.

Although offshore wind activity is more demanding on port infrastructure than many other commercial port activities, Virginia’s ports offer a high level of readiness. The study concluded that five ports have a realistic potential to be used for one or more offshore wind activities. The five ports include:

  • Portsmouth Marine Terminal
  • Newport News Marine Terminal
  • Peck Marine Terminal
  • Virginia Renaissance Center, and
  • BASF Portsmouth.

offshore wind turbine tower section.

Virginia Port Authority is currently assessing the best use of Portsmouth Marine Terminal to promote commerce and economic development for Virginia

 

Each of the ports requires various levels of upgrades to meet offshore wind power requirements. The report provides details of the required upgrades specific to each activity at each port. The following is a summary of key findings for each port:

Portsmouth and Newport News Marine Terminals have the highest level of port readiness. They each have sufficient space to accommodate multiple, co-located offshore wind activities, making them candidates for a future offshore wind manufacturing and deployment hub. The necessary upgrades to meet offshore wind requirements would cost up to $10 million at each port.

Peck Marine Terminal has the space and vessel access to accommodate many of the offshore wind manufacturing activities. Overhead navigational clearance precludes using Peck Marine Terminal for foundation manufacturing and construction staging. Necessary upgrades at Peck would cost up to $14 million.

Virginia Renaissance Center (VRC) has a high level of readiness but faces navigation constraints. Blade manufacturing and submarine cable manufacturing could be located at VRC and necessary upgrades would cost up to $5 million.

BASF Portsmouth represents an opportunity to develop new port infrastructure and would require a larger investment of $8 million to $45 million.

Five Virginia shipyards studied are capable of manufacturing conventional offshore substations without further infrastructure investment. Two of these facilities had dry docks suitable for manufacturing self-installing substations.

The final report is broken down into three volumes available by clicking on the links below.

An overview presentation on the study and its findings and recommendations is available here.

Click here for more information on the Virginia Port Readiness Study team.