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Supporting the First Installation of Offshore Wind Turbines in U.S. Federal Waters

Jack-up vessel installing the wind turbine generators at the CVOW Pilot Project in 2020
As lead environmental consultant, Tetra Tech provided siting, permitting, and environmental analysis for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) Pilot Project, a 12-megawatt wind project off the coast of Virginia.
The CVOW Pilot Project was the second offshore wind project installed in the United States and the first installed in federal waters. The project’s two turbines, located 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, can provide clean renewable energy to approximately 3,000 homes at peak production.


  • Capacity to power 3,000 homes at peak production
  • First offshore wind turbines installed in U.S. federal waters
  • First BOEM research lease area for renewable energy on the outer continental shelf
  • First BOEM right-of-way grant for renewable energy activities

Tetra Tech supported permitting and construction of the project, including providing geophysical, geotechnical, and biological studies; permit application preparation; stakeholder and agency outreach support; and construction compliance and coordination.

Climate Change Business Journal recognized Tetra Tech with a Consulting & Engineering Award for our continued work to advance the offshore wind energy.

The CVOW Pilot Project was the first project to implement Title 30 Part 585 of the Code of Federal Regulations (30 CFR 585)—Renewable Energy and Alternate Uses of Existing Facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf. It also was the first to prepare an approved Research Activities Plan (RAP), which is the basis for environmental evaluation by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The RAP serves as the industry template for BOEM-compliant environmental reports for offshore wind projects.

The project received BOEM’s first right-of-way grant for renewable energy activities. It was only the second project to receive a no objection determination from BOEM for its Facility Design Report and Fabrication and Installation Report, and it was the first to implement those reports.

Construction was completed in October 2020, and BOEM provided final approval to commence commercial operations in January 2021.

Specialized cable lay vessel installing the offshore export cable for the CVOW Pilot Project in 2020
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