The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will conduct an environmental review of two wind energy development projects proposed offshore New Jersey by Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind LLC.
Atlantic Shores, a 50:50 joint venture between EDF Renewables North America and Shell New Energies US, submitted a plan to construct and operate two commercial-scale offshore wind projects in federal waters.
The first of the two projects will have a capacity of 1,510 megawatts, enough to power over 700,000 homes. Throughout their lifecycles, the projects are expected to generate over 22,290 jobs. The projects could also help New Jersey meet its goal to develop 7.5 GW of offshore wind energy generation by 2035.
BOEM will publish a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the Federal Register on 30 September.
Publication of the NOI will open a 30-day public comment period. During this time, BOEM will hold three virtual public meetings and accept comments to inform the preparation of the EIS. These meetings and public comments will help BOEM determine the scope of the important resources and issues, impact-producing factors, reasonable alternatives, and potential mitigating measures that should be analyzed in the EIS.
“We are committed to facilitating a transparent and inclusive process for every offshore energy development project,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton.
“Public input plays an essential role for identifying and mitigating potential impacts from proposed energy development activities. That is why BOEM is committed to working closely with ocean users, such as commercial fishermen, as well as industry, Tribes, government partners, and conservation organizations, to make sure offshore wind development is done in an environmentally safe and responsible way.”
Atlantic Shores holds development rights for an offshore wind zone located some 14 to 32 kilometres off the New Jersey coast, between Barnegat Light and Atlantic City.
The lease area spans across 183,353 ha and has the potential to generate over 3 GW of wind energy.
Back in June, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) awarded Atlantic Shores with 1,510 MW of offshore wind capacity as part of the State’s second offshore wind solicitation.