US Clears Third Commercial-Scale Offshore Wind Farm to Start Construction

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has given the go-ahead to the Ocean Wind 1 project, New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm and the third commercial-scale project of this kind in the US. The developer Ørsted is now set to begin construction this autumn, starting with onshore infrastructure.

BOEM has issued the Record of Decision (ROD) approving the 1.1 GW Ocean Wind 1 based on the project’s Construction and Operations Plan (COP) that proposes installing up to 98 wind turbines and up to three offshore substations within the lease area, and following an environmental review which BOEM completed in May.

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The ROD also documents the monitoring and mitigation measures that Ørsted will implement to reduce the potential impacts on protected species such as marine mammals, sea turtles, and Atlantic sturgeon.

The measures include vessel speed restrictions and clearance zones during construction, according to a press release from the US Department of the Interior (DOI), which also states that the developer has also committed to three fisheries mitigation programs, including a direct compensation programme for reimbursement of lost revenues, a navigational safety fund for navigation equipment upgrades, and a reimbursement programme for lost or damaged commercial fishing gear. 

Ocean Wind 1 has already cleared the state approval after being selected in New Jersey’s first offshore wind solicitation in June of 2019.

Onshore activities, beginning in the autumn of 2023, will be supported by New Jersey-based PSEG, which held a 25 per cent stake in the project until last month. PSEG will be performing construction management, environmental permitting and compliance services for the onshore substations and transmission cable installation scope.

Major offshore construction work is scheduled to begin in 2024 with the installation of the first monopile foundations, shortly followed by the installation of GE Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbines.

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The first monopiles for Ocean Wind 1 have already been produced at EEW American Offshore Structures‘ (EEW AOS) facility in Paulsboro, New Jersey, the first monopile fabrication facility in the US, from which EEW is also manufacturing monopiles for the Atlantic Shores 1 offshore wind project, developed by a 50:50 partnership between Shell and EDF Renewables.

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Once fully operational in 2025, the 1.1 GW Ocean Wind 1 project, located approximately 24 kilometres (15 miles) off the coast of southern New Jersey, will generate enough electricity to power 500,000 New Jersey households.


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