Offshore Wind Supports a Clean Energy Future, On Earth Day and Every Day

Earth Day is dedicated to promoting a clean future, environmental transformation, and innovative solutions to address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

As we celebrate this decades-old tradition, it is important to note offshore wind’s impact in supporting these initiatives. Offshore wind power, and the renewable energy it produces, plays a critical role in reducing carbon emissions, protecting our environment, and meeting our renewable energy targets – and the growth of offshore wind is just beginning.

While still a young industry in the United States, the commonwealth is leading the nation in offshore wind development by investing in the technologies and innovations that will protect the planet for future generations. This important investment is setting the stage to establish Virginia as an East Coast supply chain hub and offshore wind as an economic invigorator in the state.

For example, once complete, the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project, being built 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, will deliver more than 8 million megawatts of clean energy to the power grid, eliminating nearly 5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year. By harnessing wind power, the CVOW project will power 660,000 Virginia homes and propel Virginia as a leader in the industry.

Importantly, offshore wind is also helping to protect the environment by boosting marine life diversity. Multiple studies and reports have found that offshore wind turbine bases function as artificial reefs for marine life where fish migrate towards and seek shelter. Natural coral reefs provide habitats for 32 percent of marine life. With the installation of offshore wind turbines across our oceans, these bases can form new habitats for marine life, serving as a “safe haven” for marine life biodiversity and providing a solution to recent marine life biodiversity losses.

Creating sustainable energy alternatives and investing in our environment is the path to a cleaner future, prosperity, and a clean energy economy.

Offshore wind will diversify Virginia’s economy by adding a new industry of jobs now and in the future as the offshore wind supply chain continues to grow. Virginia’s economy has already been reaping the benefits of offshore wind as companies worldwide are relocating to Virginia Beach and tapping into our local workforce for jobs within the CVOW project and along the supply chain. Through partnerships and investments, local businesses and colleges are working together and creating a ripple effect of economic growth in the state.

Virginia’s offshore wind industry can create a clean energy economy that has the potential to grow to $700 billion in economic output and support more than 5,000 jobs.

Offshore wind is vital to achieving a carbon-free future in Virginia and the country. While Earth Day serves as a reminder to invest in our planet and create clean energy alternatives to protect our environment, these critical issues must be addressed every day.

Renewable energy innovations like offshore wind transform our future and protect our environment. Now is the time to tap into this burgeoning offshore wind market and deliver clean energy solutions across the state.