25MW Nautilus Pilot Project Gets Red Light from New Jersey BPU

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has unanimously voted to reject the proposal to install the 25MW Nautilus offshore wind demonstration project off the coast of Atlantic City.

Denying the project for the second time in a decade, the BPU said that it did not demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits required under the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA) for the state to commit ratepayer funds.

Doug Copeland, Regional Development Manager at EDF Renewables, said: "The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ decision on Nautilus Offshore Wind is disappointing to say the least. With permitting already in place, Nautilus is the only project capable of giving New Jersey an early lead in the offshore wind space race."

The project, developed by EDF Renewables and Fishermen’s Energy, proposes the installation of three wind turbines approximately 2.8 miles east of the coastline of Atlantic City. According to the developers, the Nautilus project would employ the equivalent of 600 workers for a year during construction as well as additional jobs during operations and maintenance.

"This rejection will delay workers’ access to local and real-world training on offshore wind construction and slow early investments in critical supply chain infrastructure needed to support more large-scale projects. We want to thank the greater Atlantic City community and labor leaders for their support through this process and hope to work with New Jersey to identify other opportunities for the future," Copeland said in a statement following the BPU's announcement.

The New Jersey BPU voted on this on 18 December, when it also unanimously adopted the Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificate (OREC) funding mechanism for the state.