A plan to bring the makers of huge offshore wind turbines to Hampton Roads has gained financial support from Virginia’s statewide economic development initiative.
GO Virginia has awarded a $529,788 grant to the Hampton Roads Alliance to attract a supply chain for the offshore wind industry to the region. The economic development agency will lead a team of organizations in the project, including the Port of Virginia, the state Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Old Dominion University and local chambers of commerce.
Part of the grant will be used to hire two staff positions at the economic development alliance, one of which has been filled. Matt Smith started two weeks ago as director of offshore wind for the organization. The alliance also plans to hire a marketing specialist. Alliance President and CEO Doug Smith declined to reveal the salaries of the two positions.
As part of the grant terms, the economic development alliance will provide matching funding, Doug Smith said. The economic development alliance will also continue to fully fund the program going forward. The Alliance is funded by 11 member localities — Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Isle of Wight County, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Southampton County, Suffolk and Virginia Beach — and more than 70 private-sector investors.