Providing permitting support for offshore wind energy for the State of Virginia
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, is renowned as the place where humanity first took to the wind in flight. Now, the Kitty Hawk Wind Project will harness those same winds to provide up to 3,500MW of clean energy, enough for over a million homes and businesses. In support of Virginia’s ambitious clean energy mandates, included in the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA), our team is providing Kitty Hawk Wind LLC—a wholly owned subsidiary of Avangrid Renewables LLC—environmental services and routing support for onshore and state offshore waters. This will bring the electricity generated 36 miles (58 kilometres) offshore of Virginia Beach to electric customers within the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland Interconnection (PJM) area.
Our onshore routing constraints analysis included delineation of the study area, desktop data collection, and development of routing guidelines for the project. We also conducted a windshield survey to verify sensitive receptors within the study area. Utilizing the environmental, land use, and social and engineering constraints data, we used tools like GIS mapping and visual simulations to analyze the selected route segments and determine the best overall route—then we presented the route at a public open house to gather public comment and engage stakeholders. This data will be used in the state corporation commission application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity. In addition, our team will also apply our expertise to obtain the necessary federal, state, and local permits.
As this project demonstrates, customers and jurisdictions want more clean energy, but they also want sensitivity for lands and waters where it’s distributed. With a thoughtful approach supported by research, we can support both these important goals.
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