The Wind is Blowing Our Way is panel topic

by | Apr 21, 2022 | What’s Happening

Tuesday, May 3, 6 pm, Sandler Family Campus

You may have heard that America is moving away from fossil fuels and to renewables to generate clean energy to power homes, businesses, and other structures. Well, that’s very good news for Hampton Roads because Dominion Energy intends to construct the east coast’s largest windfarm 27 miles off of Virginia Beach, and the industry to service it and other projects is coming here, as well.

That’s why United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Society of Professionals will host a program to bring everyone up to speed. The moderator will be Joel Rubin who is conducting a campaign called WINDSdays on behalf of Dominion Energy, to raise awareness of the career and business opportunities that offshore wind energy will bring to the region. His panel will include leading experts in the field: George Hagerman, the guru of offshore wind and a research professor at Old Dominion University; Fred Pasquine whose company, Fairlead, is engaged in maritime vessel repair, but will be leasing out pier space in Norfolk; Paula Miller, former Norfolk delegate and now in government relations with Dominion Energy; and Ray White, the “wind energy” maven in the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development.

Every local city will likely have existing and new companies engaged in some aspect of the industry, which thrives in Europe, but is new to the U.S. Siemens Gamesa for instance, will build a $200-million, 300 employee blade finishing plant, and perhaps later a manufacturing facility, at Portsmouth Marine Terminal. Danish wind giant Orsted is also coming to PMT.

Certainly, there are questions about the viability of wind and sun vs coal and gas, and there will be some impacts on land because Dominion Energy and a second developer of a windfarm off of Kitty Hawk, N.C., must transmit the power above ground to connect into the electricity grid.

But in the quest to contain the impacts of climate change, relying on solar and wind is, according to Virginia’s new Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Caren Merrick, “the future.” That’s why the tagline for WINDSdays is “The Wind is Blowing our Way.”

Hear why on May 3 at the Sandler Campus.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Amy Zelenka at or 757-965-6139.