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Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads Sign Letter of Support for Offshore Wind Industry in Virginia

Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads Sign Letter of Support for Offshore Wind Industry in Virginia

The Chairs of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) have signed a joint letter (click HERE  to review the signed letter) supporting the advancement of the offshore wind industry in Virginia as "a tremendous economic development potential for the Commonwealth." Both groups recently passed resolutions supporting offshore wind development (NVRC resolution and HRPDC resolution ), and the joint letter to the respective regions' General Assembly legislators encourages the State's support of the industry. Together the NVRC and HRPDC represent 30 jurisdictions and over 4 million Virginians.

In particular, the letter requests that legislators support Governor Northam’s budget proposal to create and fund a Virginia Office for Offshore Wind within the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy to advance Virginia’s offshore wind interests. The creation of the Office for Offshore Wind is one of several recommendations from a report released by the Governor titled, The Virginia Advantage: The Roadmap for the Offshore Wind Supply Chain in Virginia. The report analyzes Virginia’s strategic position in the emerging U.S. offshore wind industry and provides guidance for the development of an industrial supply chain to serve East Coast offshore wind projects.

Growth of an East Coast offshore wind industry holds tremendous economic development potential for the Commonwealth. The “Roadmap” estimates that an East Coast pipeline of projects resulting in 8 gigawatts of installed capacity by 2030 would support up to 37,000 jobs per year. While not all the jobs would be located in the Commonwealth, Virginia is well-positioned to compete for these jobs through a unique combination of natural advantages unmatched in other states, including congestion-free navigation with no height restrictions, America’s largest shipbuilding and repair industry and maritime workforce, unparalleled port infrastructure, a strategic Mid-Atlantic location, and a pro-business climate.

According to a report (Click HERE to review the report) released by the Virginia Advanced Energy Economy in August 2018 there are nearly 100,000 jobs in the Commonwealth related to energy related matters including efficiency, solar, wind, battery storage and a wide variety of other energy related areas. These jobs represent more than those employed by groceries and supermarkets (75,133), and twice as many as those at hotels, motels, and resorts (45,777) across Virginia. The top five locations in Virginia for these jobs include Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County and the city of Virginia Beach.