PORTSMOUTH—Governor Ralph Northam today announced an agreement for Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy to establish the first offshore wind turbine blade facility in the United States, propelling construction of the country’s largest new renewable energy project.
Virginia-based Dominion Energy had previously selected the company as its partner for the energy generation project 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. Next, Siemens Gamesa will lease more than 80 acres of the Commonwealth’s Portsmouth Marine Terminal and will build a facility to produce turbine blades supplying offshore wind projects in North America. The facility, combined with its operations and maintenance activities, will create a total of 310 new jobs, of which roughly 50 will be service jobs to support the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project. The project represents a total cost of $200 million, including over $80 million in investments for buildings and equipment at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal.
“Virginians want renewable energy, our employers want it, and Virginia is delivering it,” said Governor Ralph S. Northam. “The Commonwealth is joining these leading companies to create the most important clean-energy partnership in the United States. This is good news for energy customers, the union workers who will bring this project to life, and our business partners. Make no mistake: Virginia is building a new industry in renewable energy, with more new jobs to follow, and that’s good news for our country.”
The announcement comes two months to the day after Governor Northam announced that Dominion Energy had agreed to lease 72 acres of the deep-water Portsmouth Marine Terminal as a staging and pre-assembly area for the foundations and turbines. Once fully constructed in 2026, Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project will generate enough clean, sustainable energy to power up to 660,000 homes at peak and avoid as much as 5 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, the company reports.
The announcement also comes 18 months after Governor Northam signed into law the Virginia Clean Economy Act, cementing Virginia’s commitment to clean and renewable energy. The law sets a target for Dominion Energy to construct or purchase at least 5,200 megawatts of energy through offshore wind by 2034 and to achieve 100 percent carbon-free energy production by 2045.
For more than 40 years, Siemens Gamesa has been a pioneer and leader in the wind industry, and today its team of more than 25,000 people is working at the heart of the global energy revolution to address the climate crisis—the most important challenge of our generation. With a leading position in onshore, offshore, and services, Siemens Gamesa designs, builds, and delivers powerful and reliable wind energy solutions in close collaboration with its customers. As a global company with local impact, it has installed more than 110 GW across the world and provides access to clean, affordable, and sustainable energy.
“Offshore wind energy will create jobs and economic prosperity across the country, and with President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda, we’re showing that the United States is open for business on clean energy,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Virginia is helping lead the way to strengthen the nation’s domestic supply chains of renewable energy and keep energy prices affordable for American households as we strive for a cleaner future.”
“We at Siemens Gamesa have shown the offshore wind industry the way for over 30 years. Establishing the industry’s first dedicated offshore wind turbine blade facility in the United States proves again that we are leading the offshore revolution,” said Marc Becker, Chief Executive Officer of the Siemens Gamesa Offshore Business Unit. “The U.S. offshore market is a critical part of our overall global strategy, with our presence in Virginia playing a crucial and central role. Our investment – reaching triple-digit millions of U.S. dollars – would be energized by the strong collaboration with Dominion Energy and support of Virginia’s legislature and authorities.”
“Virginia is leading the way in offshore wind and using blades from this new facility in Hampton Roads on our Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project is a major win for the region,” said Robert M. Blue, Dominion Energy Chair, President, and Chief Executive Officer. “It is great to see well-paying, clean energy jobs are on the horizon as an offshore wind supply chain develops here in Virginia.”
“This announcement is a major milestone in the development of Virginia’s first offshore wind project – and the second active offshore wind project in the country,” said U.S. Senator Mark Warner. “I am proud that Virginia is leading the way in offshore wind development and reinforcing its role as a major player in an industry that will power our future. I commend Governor Northam for his leadership on this issue and Siemens Gamesa and the Port of Virginia for bringing this project to the Commonwealth and creating 21st century jobs. As the project progresses, I look forward to working at the federal level to pass infrastructure legislation, which will support a wealth of other investments to drive innovation, job creation, and economic growth for years to come.”
“I applaud Governor Northam and Siemens Gamesa for working together on this historic partnership that will bring good-paying jobs to the Commonwealth and strengthen our clean energy economy. Today’s announcement is a testament to Virginia’s talented workforce and robust infrastructure network, including the Port of Virginia, which are key to attract economic development,” said U.S. Senator Tim Kaine. “This partnership will further cement the Commonwealth as the premiere offshore wind hub for the Eastern United States. I’ll keep pushing to get the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Build Back Better bill – two transformative, complimentary, and essential pieces of legislation – across the finish line to ensure Virginia has the resources it needs to power homes and businesses in need and continue to lead the nation in clean energy for years to come.”
“Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy recognized early on what Virginia has to offer companies looking to invest in this country's budding offshore wind industry: unparalleled coastal assets, comprehensive and cutting-edge infrastructure systems, and a robust workforce pipeline unlike any other on the East Coast,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “This announcement is years in the making and takes the Commonwealth one step closer to becoming a national leader in offshore wind. We thank Siemens Gamesa for its commitment to Virginia and look forward to a long and productive partnership.”
“Virginia’s agreement with Siemens Gamesa will accelerate the potential of offshore wind power production, advancing our transition to clean, renewable energy and resulting in good-paying jobs and increased economic opportunities,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “The Port of Virginia’s world-class facilities make it the premier location for this emerging industry and positions the Commonwealth as a national leader in offshore wind power.”
“The Port of Virginia is proud to be able to help with the development of an entirely new industry that will spur job growth, drive our economy, and create the U.S. East Coast’s offshore-wind logistics hub right here in Portsmouth,” said Stephen A. Edwards, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority. “The industry is going to be closely watching Virginia and this port and we welcome the interest. We have a very unique opportunity to set ourselves apart by being at the forefront of this movement to create clean, renewable energy along the East Coast. We welcome Siemens Gamesa and are looking forward to a long and productive relationship.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with The Port of Virginia, Dominion Energy, the City of Portsmouth, the Hampton Roads Alliance, and the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment (MEI) Project Approval Commission to secure the project for Virginia. The Commonwealth will support the project through MEI-approved Virginia Public Building Authority bonds of up to $17.1 million to support infrastructure improvements and site preparation required for the construction of the facility.
Support for job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System and other higher education partners, with funding support from the Northam administration and the Virginia General Assembly. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates that the offshore wind industry has the potential to power economic growth in the Commonwealth,” said Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission Chair Senator Janet Howell. “I commend the team that worked to ensure Siemens Gamesa selected The Port of Virginia’s Portsmouth Marine Terminal, and I am proud the MEI Commission could play a role in securing this important project.”
“We thank Siemens Gamesa for its major investment in the Commonwealth and partnering with Dominion Energy to advance offshore wind development,” said Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission Vice Chair Delegate Luke Torian. “I am pleased the MEI Commission could collaborate with our state, regional, and local partners to secure this project that will create 310 new jobs for the citizens of Hampton Roads.”
“The City of Portsmouth is excited to welcome Siemens Gamesa to the Portsmouth business community,” said Shannon E. Glover, Mayor of Portsmouth. “The world’s energy leader will have access to Portsmouth’s immensely skilled workforce, our robust infrastructure, and our central waterways. I am proud of the many teams that brought this announcement to fruition.”
“This announcement from Siemens Gamesa showcases the importance of Portsmouth and Hampton Roads as an offshore wind supply chain hub,” said Robert D. Moore, Portsmouth Economic Development Director and Deputy City Manager. “Virginia is ready and able to support all offshore wind needs, from manufacturing to skilled trades and beyond. We look forward to seeing the project come together and continue to grow renewable energy for generations to come.”
“Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy’s decision to establish an offshore wind blade facility at the Port of Virginia’s Portsmouth Marine Terminal is an important milestone for the U.S. offshore wind industry and for Hampton Roads,” said Doug Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hampton Roads Alliance. “Establishing a domestic supply chain is critical to the success of the industry. This facility will help anchor Virginia as an offshore wind supply chain hub and bring the potential for significant additional capital investment and job creation.”
“This announcement today will bring good jobs to Virginia and boost clean energy efforts. Hampton Roads is one of the most vulnerable communities to climate change and rising sea levels, and as such, we must ensure we are on the frontlines of the clean energy economy,” said Congressman Bobby Scott. “I applaud Governor Northam for his efforts to secure investments in jobs and clean energy right here in Hampton Roads and across the Commonwealth.”
“The offshore wind industry will secure Coastal Virginia’s economic prosperity for decades while ensuring the Commonwealth is leading the way in addressing climate change and promoting clean energy solutions,” said Congresswoman Elaine Luria. “I want to thank Governor Northam for prioritizing this growing industry and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for investing in Hampton Roads and its workforce. I will continue to push for clean energy investments in Congress to create jobs and advance renewable energy.”
“Siemens Gamesa’s significant investment in the first offshore wind turbine blade facility here in the United States is a quantum leap in the right direction. I am immensely proud of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, The Port of Virginia, Dominion Energy, the City of Portsmouth, the Hampton Roads Alliance, and the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission for securing this project for the Commonwealth,” said Senator Louise Lucas. “It will bring 310 new jobs to the City of Portsmouth, produce blades for offshore wind projects across the nation, supply 660,000 homes with clean sustainable energy, which will potentially avoid 5 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, and more. Simply put, this initiative is a bright new day for clean energy, the Commonwealth, and the nation.”
“The Port of Virginia is a major economic driver for the Hampton Roads region, as evidenced by Siemens Gamesa’s decision to establish its offshore wind turbine blade facility at the Portsmouth Marine terminal,” said Delegate Don Scott. “We thank all the partners involved in this major project that will create new jobs and put Virginia on the map as a leader in the offshore wind industry.”