Kitty Hawk offshore wind project to create 600 jobs in Hampton Roads area
N.C. turbines will run power cables to substation in Virginia Beach
Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of Connecticut-based Avangrid Inc., submitted construction and operations plans on Dec. 11 for the first phase of its Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind project, a development it says will generate $2 billion in economic impact between 2021 and 2030 and create nearly 800 jobs in Virginia and North Carolina.
Located 27 miles off the shore of Corolla, North Carolina, the 122,405-acre project will include landing cables that will come ashore at a substation in Virginia Beach’s Sandbridge community. Roughly 600 jobs will be generated by the project within the Hampton Roads combined statistical area, which includes part of northeastern North Carolina.
The first phase of construction could begin as soon as 2024 and have the capacity to generate approximately 800 megawatts of electricity. When all phases are complete, the project is anticipated to have a total generation of up to 2,500 megawatts, or enough to power 700,000 homes.
From one of two possible landing sites in Sandbridge, a combination of underground and overhead cables will run to a substation or substations where they will connect to the grid. Several substation locations are currently being considered.
Avangrid signed the lease for the offshore land in 2017 with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Energy Management (BOEM), the same agency it filed its construction and operation plan with. Kitty Hawk’s three development phases would become operational in 2026, 2028 and 2029, if all goes according to plan. Avangrid declined to say how many turbines it plans to build, saying the number may change due to technological advances; earlier news reports say it will be at least 100 turbines.
The power generated by the project would enter the grid through the substation in Virginia Beach. From there, energy companies in the Virginia and North Carolina markets — including Dominion Energy Inc., Duke Energy Corp. and Appalachian Power — could purchase power from Avangrid.
“There is strong support for offshore wind in Virginia,” explains Ashley McLeod, spokeswoman for the Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind project. “Avangrid Renewables and our affiliated companies have extensive experience developing both onshore and offshore wind projects worldwide. We believe we have a lot to offer potential customers in the mid-Atlantic.”
Dominion announced plans last year to stand up an $7.8 billion offshore wind farm 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach that aims to be the largest in the nation, with more than 180 turbines generating 2,600 megawatts. Its initial twin-turbine, 12-megawatt, $300 million Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project, located 27 miles off the Virginia Beach coastline, successfully completed reliability testing in October.