Opportunity Between the Turbines: A Willingness-to-Pay Experiment Regarding Co-Location Activities with the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Farm

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Virginia Tech


With shipping routes, fisheries, conservation areas, recreation, and other maritime industries competing for space off Virginia's coastline, integrated solutions for marine areas may offer a way to limit conflict and maximize productivity. Countries across the world are researching the different ways in which the space between turbines can be utilized to provide economic and environmental benefits. The act of coupling other maritime activities with offshore wind farms is often referred to as co-location. As Virginia constructs the first offshore wind farm in United States Federal waters, there are new opportunities for co-location that could benefit the Virginia economy. Using data from a choice experiment and random utility modeling, this research quantifies Virginia public preferences for various co-location options within the lease area of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) farm. Our estimated WTP values show Virginia's public preference for the addition of co-location to the CVOW lease area to be upwards of $20 per 1,000 acres of activity. Our estimates can be compared to implementation and management costs of each activity to determine potential for incorporation of certain co-location techniques. The experimental design of this study can be applied to other offshore wind installments around the world.



willingness-to-pay, choice experiment, offshore wind, seaweed aquaculture, public preference, Virginia, marine research, seaweed forest, public access.