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Dominion Virginia Power is initiating a study of what it would take to build a high-voltage underwater transmission line from Virginia Beach into the Atlantic Ocean to support multiple potential offshore wind farms.

Dominion sees this as the first of many steps, with the ultimate goal being the design, construction, and operation and maintenance of the transmission line necessary to make the offshore wind resource available to its customers, according to the utility.

"An undersea transmission line project will be a key to getting wind generation from the Atlantic Ocean to our customers," says Scot C. Hathaway, vice president of transmission for Dominion Virginia Power. "Virginia has excellent resources for offshore wind energy. It makes sense for us to begin a preliminary scoping study of a transmission line and how it could make the offshore wind industry in Virginia viable, without regard to issues of rates, timing and integration into the PJM Interconnection regional transmission grid."

Dominion plans to complete the study this year, evaluating options to best support multiple offshore wind projects off the coast of Virginia. The company will work with PJM Interconnection through its Regional Transmission Expansion Planning process. The Virginia State Corporation Commission would have to approve any power line project as well.

A study done by Dominion last year of its existing transmission system in eastern Virginia showed that it is possible to interconnect large-scale wind generation facilities up to a total installed capability of 4,500 MW. The study said 1,500 MW of generation into a Virginia Beach substation would not be expected to create transmission deficiencies.

SOURCE: Dominion Virginia Power

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