BOEM completes environmental analysis of offshore wind project off New Jersey Ship’s crew

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has completed its environmental analysis of the proposed Ocean Wind 1 wind project off the coast of New Jersey.

If approved, the project could provide around 500,000 households with clean, renewable energy.

“BOEM continues to make strides toward a unique opportunity to build a new clean energy industry in the United States,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “Offshore wind is a critical part of the Biden-Harris administration’s strategy to address the climate crisis, while creating high-paying jobs and ensuring economic opportunities are accessible to all communities.”

Ocean Wind LLC, the company behind the proposed project, plans to construct up to 98 wind turbine generator sets (WTGs) and up to three offshore substations within its lease area. The Ocean Wind 1 project will be located at least 13 nautical miles southeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Export cables are expected to land in Ocean County and Cape May County, New Jersey.

If all 98 WTGs are approved, the estimated capacity will be between 1,215 and 1,440 megawatts and will be able to power approximately 504,000 homes annually. If approved, Ocean Wind 1 will be the third commercial offshore wind project approved by the Biden administration on the US outer continental shelf.

“We are pleased with the continued progress New Jersey is making toward its offshore wind power goals, which will create 10,000 jobs and $4.7 billion in economic impact across the state,” said Clean Power in a statement. “Ocean Wind 1 plays a key role in achieving these goals with its ability to provide clean, reliable, and self-generated wind power to nearly half a million homes per year.”

A “Notice of Availability” of the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Ocean Wind LLC’s proposed offshore New Jersey wind turbine will be filed with the Federal Register in the coming days.

BOEM began the environmental review process by releasing a draft EIA on June 24, 2022, initiating a 45-day public comment period that was later extended to August 23, 2022. In addition, three virtual public hearings were held to gather feedback from various stakeholders, including tribal nations, local community members, commercial fisheries stakeholders and other marine users. BOEM received a total of 1,389 comment submissions from federal, tribal, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations and the general public during the comment period. Numerous comments raised general concerns about the negative impact on whales in the region.

Taking these comments and stakeholder feedback into account, BOEM developed the final EIS to ensure the project progressed while addressing everyone’s needs and concerns.

BOEM plans to issue a Record of Decision (ROD) this summer that will determine whether the proposed Ocean Wind 1 project will be approved. The ROD marks the completion of the National Environmental Policy Act’s EIS process.

The completion of the BOEM environmental review of the Ocean Wind 1 project follows the recent announcement of draft Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for two separate offshore wind projects in New Jersey: Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Project 1 and Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Project 2. These projects, collectively known as the Atlantic Shores South Wind Project, were jointly submitted by Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, a 50/50 joint venture between Shell and EDF Renewables

The latest action comes amid mounting calls from Republican lawmakers to temporarily halt offshore wind power production following a spate of whale kills in recent months. Some attribute the deaths to preliminary offshore wind activity, particularly acoustic survey work, although there is no evidence linking the two.

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