Virginia Approves Ørsted Staging Terminal

(Americas) New WInd Power Breakbulk Hub

Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners has approved plans by wind energy giant Ørsted for a new offshore wind staging terminal in Hampton Roads.

The proposed facility will be one of the largest dedicated wind power breakbulk handling facilities in the U.S. East Coast and will support Ørsted’s plans to install almost 3 gigawatts of wind capacity in the U.S.

“This is a big step towards making Virginia a leader in wind energy and offshore wind manufacturing. With the Port of Virginia at its helm, the Hampton Roads region has the trained workforce and the nautical know-how to become a vital hub for offshore wind development. We welcome Ørsted and look forward to the tremendous opportunities ahead of us,” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said.

2026 Lease

The site will be leased from the port authority until 2026 and will initially serve construction of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind, or CVOW, project that is planned with local utility Dominion Energy.

“Much activity will be taking place in Virginia and beyond in the coming months and years, and Portsmouth Marine Terminal is well-situated to meet our needs both now and in the future,” said Thomas Brostrøm, CEO of Ørsted North America, adding the firm sees potential for Virginia to become “a central player in the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind industry.

Based in Fredericia, Denmark, Ørsted is one of the largest wind farm developers in the world. The group has recently begun a push into the U.S. and last year partnered with logistic park operator Tradepoint Atlantic to construct an offshore wind energy staging centre at the firm’s 3,300-acre logistics park in Baltimore County. 

Entirely New Industry

The proposed lease at Virginia Port covers an area of 1.7 acres at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal, with options to expand by 40 acres. The deal is provisionally valued at US$13 million in lease payments, with a further US$20 million in site upgrades planned in order to deliver the necessary heavy-lift infrastructure need to handle the next-generation of wind farm components.

“This is a strategic decision by leaders in the offshore wind industry to take advantage of Virginia’s world-class port. By welcoming Ørsted and allowing it to leverage the Portsmouth Marine Terminal, we could jumpstart an almost entirely new industry. The result is job creation, economic investment, diversification of the Virginia economy, and clean, renewable energy,” John F. Reinhart, CEO of the Virginia Port Authority, commented.

The Port of Virginia’s harbor is the deepest on the U.S. East Coast and a major breakbulk hub with six terminals, covering 1,864 acres.