According to the Virginian-Pilot, a Virginia Beach task force concluded in late June that a large-scale wind farm off Virginia Beach’s coast could potentially generate 20% of Virginia’s electricity and create roughly 1,100 new jobs. The task force was formed by Mayor Will Sessoms in April to assess opportunities for renewable energy in Virginia Beach, and more specifically, to compile research and economic models for potential investors in the offshore wind farm project. The project could cost as much as $1.5 billion. Mayor Sessoms hopes to attract a combination of federal, state, local and private funds to finance the project.
The state’s natural resources make this a feasible project, [Neil Rondorf of the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium] said. Virginia is one of ten states with shallow-water resource base that could comparably meet state energy demand, and the availability of necessary wind resources and a low risk of major hurricane strikes are other factors conducive to a wind farm. The project could potentially provide up to 20 percent of the state’s energy.”