RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) -
Efforts to bring offshore wind energy to the commonwealth had a set-back Thursday.
Dominion Virginia Power announced its pilot project to put two wind turbines off the coast are on hold due to cost issues.
Representatives with Dominion say the company needs more time to work with experts from within the states and abroad to see how to drive down the cost of the project.
“It's never been done in this country. Anywhere in the United States; West Coast, East Coast, Gulf of Mexico," said Dominion Director of Media Relations David Botkins.
Assuming there's no mishaps during the construction process, it could cost nearly $400 million build the two turbines. Dominion had earlier estimated the cost closer to $230 million. The experimental turbines would provide electricity to about 3,000 homes.
"It's not particularly efficient, and it's very very expensive," Botkins said.
State and energy leaders worry the Virginia State Corporation Commission, which looks out for the burden falling on consumers, may not approve the project either.
Dominion says it would have help paying for the project with a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Other companies might get involved to share in the burden of funding the wind turbine project with Dominion.
The goal was to have the two turbines fully operational by 2017, but it's unlikely that timeline will be kept now.
The long-term vision has been to build these two turbines, and then expand the project to up to hundreds of turbines off the coast.
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