Virginia regulators green light offshore wind farm project

Virginia state regulators have begrudgingly approved a proposed offshore wind pilot program they say is expensive, risky and unneeded to provide reliable electricity.

The State Corporation Commission issued a ruling Friday allowing Dominion Energy to proceed with building two wind turbines about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The commission says the proposal would not be considered “prudent” under any normal definition of the word, but a new law Dominion helped write required the commission to approve it.

Commissioners note that Dominion’s customers will bear “essentially all the risk” if the estimated $300 million project has cost overruns or has performance issues.

Gov. Ralph Northam supported the law and wants to make Virginia an East Coast hub for offshore wind energy.