Taylor Adams, Deputy City Manager and Director of Economic Development with his team and guests.
The City Attracts Significant Attention, Emerges as Mid-Atlantic Hub for Offshore Wind Industry
Virginia Beach is emerging as the mid-Atlantic hub for offshore wind and as companies become aware of opportunities in this expanding sector, we are ready to assist them in locating to our City."
-- Taylor Adams
, VB Deputy City Manager, Director for Econ. Development
VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES, March 30, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ -- The City of Virginia Beach is pleased to announce that 64 executives from 7 different countries and different parts of the United States spent the last three days in Virginia Beach learning more about the emerging offshore wind industry and evaluating the City as a potential location for private capital investment and job creation. The combined $18 billion investment to build two of the largest offshore wind farms in the country just a few miles off the City’s shoreline is a major draw for businesses in this sector.
The international delegation, representing 44 organizations and companies, was welcomed in Virginia Beach on Friday, ready for a weekend filled with industry-related presentations, networking opportunities, and a tour of The Port of Virginia, a key asset for this industry. Guests of honor included Travis Voyles, Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources, Chelsea Jenkins, Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade, and Wyatt Toehlke, Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Trade.
The weekend event was kicked off with an overview of the two impending wind projects off the coast of Virginia Beach – Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) and Kitty Hawk Offshore (KHO) – given by Dominion Energy and Avangrid Renewables, respectively. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Hampton Roads Alliance, and the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development followed with their presentations, describing how the different agencies and levels of Virginia's government are working together to support offshore wind development.
The Hampton Roads Workforce Council and Tidewater Community College also had workforce experts at the event who informed the crowd about their regional efforts to upskill the talent pool and expand their capabilities to better serve employers in the offshore wind supply chain.
Correll Group, a UK-headquartered company specializing in the renewable energy sector, also participated in the event.
Geoff Briggs, Global Business Director, spoke to the group about the company’s experience establishing a business in Virginia Beach.
“The number of offshore wind companies present at this weekend’s event is a testament to the level of interest that Virginia Beach is receiving from the offshore wind community across the U.S. and abroad,” said Taylor Adams, Deputy City Manager and Director for Economic Development for the City of Virginia Beach.“ All eyes are on these large-scale commercial wind farms that are coming to our shores. Virginia Beach is truly emerging as the mid-Atlantic hub for offshore wind and, as companies become aware of all the opportunities in this rapidly-expanding sector, the Department of Economic Development stands ready to assist them in locating to our City, help them grow and prosper.”
Construction of the full-scale CVOW project is set to begin in late 2024, while KHO is anticipated to begin erecting turbines at sea in 2026. In addition to these gargantuan wind farms that will soon find a home 27 miles and 41 miles, respectively, from the City’s shoreline, new opportunities to harvest offshore wind energy off the coast of Virginia Beach have recently been identified by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). These additional call areas in the Central Atlantic region, which include both fixed-bottom and floating wind areas, further establish Virginia Beach as the prime location for offshore wind development in the United States.
The delegation that traveled to Virginia Beach this weekend learned more about these new call areas and the vast potential for offshore wind near Virginia Beach. They also had the opportunity to meet Bob Miltenberger, CEO of NearshoreNetworks, a global maritime communications solutions provider that supports wind energy industry clients worldwide. NearshoreNetworks opened an office in Virginia Beach last fall to support the company's growing customer base in the energy segment.
"When it comes to wind energy, communications is the lifeline to operational excellence, whether working near or offshore. Our team must be in proximity to their operations and thus our opening offices in Virginia Beach,” said Miltenberger. “NearshoreNetworks is known for rapid service response and solving communications issues when they arise. This new office makes sense to us and the customers we serve.”
The weekend event in Virginia Beach concluded on Monday morning when the offshore wind delegation left for Baltimore.
The group of executives will attend the International Partnering Forum (IPF), the premier offshore wind energy conference in North America, hosted by the Business Network for Offshore Wind. The three-day event is expected to host more than 3,000 attendees who are interested in growing their businesses and getting the latest updates on the industry. The Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development will also be in attendance, as the team continues to cultivate relationships with industry leaders and seek out potential private sector investors for the City of Virginia Beach.
About Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development
The Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development (VBDED) aims to recruit domestic and international companies to Virginia Beach, while assisting local businesses with their expansion needs, to create a strong economy, generate high-paying employment opportunities, and increasing tax revenues to fund local infrastructure and improved services for Virginia Beach residents. The VBDED attracts and guides private sector investment towards sustainable economic growth for the City. For more information, visit www.yesvirginiabeach.com
The Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development
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