Mark Little, executive director of the Kenan Institute-affiliated center CREATE, provided expert testimony in a process that resulted in a May 11 settlement agreement regarding contracting and hiring practices for Dominion Energy’s $9.8 billion Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind renewable energy project.
Parties entering into the agreement included the Sierra Club, which submitted Little’s testimony in Dominion Energy’s request for certification to Virginia’s State Corporation Commission in March. The project involves putting 176 wind turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach by 2026.
Dominion Energy’s economic development commitments include a goal of 40% diversity hiring by the end of 2026 and updating the economic development plan semiannually to include reporting on racial and ethnic demographics, veteran status and geographic location of Dominion employees as well as contractors and suppliers.
“Climate change threatens coastal communities including the broader Hampton Roads region, and disproportionately impacts communities of color and people with fewer economic resources,” Little said in his testimony. “By clearly connecting these overlapping issues in a comprehensive sustainability vision for the CVOW Project, Dominion has an opportunity to be the lodestar for the offshore wind industry and for American energy production more broadly.”