The United States has 60,000 MW of installed wind energy, the equivalent of 120 medium-sized coal-fired power plants. The wind industry supports 80,000 jobs nationwide. Wind turbine prices are falling and the technology performance has improved dramatically in recent years.
Virginia has substantial wind power potential, particularly off the coast where winds are strong and consistent. Virginia is in a premier position to lead the development of a supply chain for offshore wind along the Atlantic coast with a major port in Norfolk and the world’s largest shipbuilding industry located in Hampton Roads. Investing in the development of Virginia’s vast wind resource could create thousands of jobs for Virginians from manufacturing to installation and maintenance. Wind energy has the potential to decrease our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gas pollution, and improve the reliability of our transmission and distribution infrastructure.
Virginia has the potential to produce 2,000 MW of onshore wind and 89,000 MW of offshore wind. However, Virginia currently has no wind energy on the ground and the utilities in the state have meager plans to ramp up investments. For example, Dominion only plans to add 248 MW of land-based wind in the next decade, less than 15 percent of Virginia’s estimated potential.
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