Dominion Energy overestimated the economic benefits of the wind farm project off the coast of Virginia Beach

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Attorney General’s Office told state regulators that Dominion Energy overestimated the economic benefits of an offshore wind farm project, warning of “significant risks” to project customers. expensive.

The analysis was filed Friday with the State Corporation Commission, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

The commission is reviewing Richmond-based Dominion’s plans for the roughly $9.8 billion, 180-turbine wind farm off Virginia Beach. Hearings in the case are scheduled for May and public comment is now open.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Advice Division presented written testimony from Texas-based energy consultant Scott Norwood.

Testimony from Norwood said the wind project was not needed to meet the company’s capacity needs until at least 2035 and that the capital costs of the project were two to three times the cost of solar resources , reported the newspaper. He also said Dominion’s predicted economic benefits were based on an analysis that overstated the benefits.

Due to high fixed costs and “significant risks posed to customers,” according to the testimony, the commission should require Dominion to file progress reports on the project’s performance and costs during construction and at least its first year of operation. ‘commercial exploitation.

Norwood also recommended that Dominion be required to notify the commission immediately of any delays or cost increases.

Company spokesman Jeremy Slayton told the newspaper in a statement that “offshore wind is good for energy security as well as Virginia’s economy and environment.” He also said that “Virginia offshore wind’s zero fuel costs are more valuable than ever given today’s rising fuel costs.”

State officials hope Virginia — with its workforce and infrastructure that already supports a port and several shipyards — can become an Atlantic coast hub for the growing offshore wind industry.