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Dominion says it has received a two-year $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to study ways to reduce the cost of offshore wind electricity generation by at least 25%.

The Dominion-led team will utilize an integrated systems approach for optimizing the hypothetical design of a 600 MW 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.

"One of the biggest challenges to offshore wind generation is bringing down the cost so it can be more competitive with other forms of electric power generation," says Mary C. Doswell, senior vice president of alternative energy solutions at Dominion. "The intent of the project is to achieve at least a 25% reduction in the levelized cost of energy relative to a benchmark 600 MW 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 awarded funding by the DOE to speed technical innovations, lower costs and shorten the timeline for deploying offshore wind energy systems.


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