VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Some community members in Virginia Beach are pushing back against an offshore wind project.
A company called Avangrid Renewables wants to bring subsea cables above the ground in Sandbridge.
“You know, people spend their life savings and they come down here and they buy houses to enjoy the beach,” said Sandbridge resident Andrew Horne.
Horne is a member of the Sandbridge Beach Civic League. He said he worries the offshore wind project on the horizon will change the place he calls home.
Avangrid Renewables is behind the Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind Project. The project website said the company plans to place wind turbines about 27 miles off the Outer Banks coast.
It said they will run the cables on land through Sandbridge and connect to a power station in the Corporate Landing Business Park. The page said the project will produce enough electricity to power about 700,000 homes.
Horne said more than 100 members met Monday and voted against Avangrid’s current plan. He said the cables are set to go underground right through town.
“Come underneath the dunes, and underneath Sandfiddler Road,” Horne said.
Then, he said the cables will run under Sandbridge Road.
“Which is the only ingress and egress road into this area,” Horn said.
Horne said folks are concerned about the construction time. A spokesman for Avangrid said Sandbridge Road will not close, and crews will work between October and mid–May.
Horne said he and other residents aren’t against renewable energy, they just want to see a different path for the cables.
“We are all for wind energy,” Horne said.
Research by Avangrid Renewables on the Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind Project said it is projected to generate nearly $2 billion in total economic impact over the next decade in Virginia and Northeast North Carolina.
A spokesman for Avangrid gave the following statement:
“AVANGRID continues to work closely with the Virginia Beach community, including the City Council, neighborhood associations, businesses, maritime organizations, labor and workforce development officials, and other local leaders to understand the needs of the community and ensure that Kitty Hawk Wind is developed in a manner that minimizes impacts and provides significant local benefits. We remain committed to that work and will continue to engage with local leaders and stakeholders to bring this substantial, clean, and cost-effective energy to the region.”
Crews are scheduled to begin laying the cables in Sandbridge in 2024.