200 more offshore wind turbines approved for the NJ coast – NBC10 Philadelphia
New Jersey paved the way for hundreds of wind turbines off the state’s coast in the years to come with Wednesday’s approval of 2,658 megawatts of offshore wind power.
Two wind farm projects have been approved and would provide enough electricity for 1.1 million homes, officials said.
The approvals come in addition to 1,100 megawatts already given the green light by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, which announced the approval of the new projects at a special meeting. New Jersey has now approved the second largest offshore wind power of any state, behind New York.
The two projects are a 110-turbine wind farm by Atlantic Shores, owned by European power companies Shell New Energies US and EDF Renewables North America, and an 82-turbine farm by Ørsted called Ocean Wind 2.
The Atlantic Shores farm will be located approximately 10.5 miles from the coast of the coastal towns north of Atlantic City. Ocean Wind 2 of Ørsted will be almost 14 miles off Cape May.
But the enormous amount of energy has yet to go through federal permits and overcome potential hurdles such as lawsuits against interests of the fishery and coastal communities. None of the offshore wind farms are expected to start construction until mid-2023 at the earliest, and the two most recent projects are not expected to be commissioned until 2027 at the earliest.
Governor Phil Murphy is one of the strongest supporters of offshore wind as “a basic strategy” to wean the country off fossil fuels. He set a ambitious target of 7,500 megawatts in offshore wind power by 2035.
Three more rounds of project solicitations and approvals are expected over the next few years.
The top prize in 2019 went to Ørsted and its Ocean Wind 1 project, which plans 92 turbines off Cape May and southern New Jersey to produce the 1,100 megawatts. This wind farm is currently the second in the list of federal offshore wind projects under consideration following the approval of the Biden administration in May of the Vineyard farm off Massachusetts. Ocean wind federal approval is awaited by June 2023.
Offshore wind farms: leased areas and developers
Seventeen federally leased areas lie off the coasts of eight US states. Click on each rental site to see how many wind turbines are expected or estimated, which developer they belong to and how much energy will be generated. Turbine totals are either based on developers’ proposals or estimated using the power generated by the largest turbine currently on the market.
The most recent assessment of New Jersey’s tenders was a two-horse race that included Ørsted and its Ocean Wind 2 offer, and Atlantic Shores, which has a 183,000-acre rental area off the coast of Atlantic City and of Long Beach Island.
Atlantic Shores has submitted a few proposals of varying sizes, the largest being to provide 2,300 megawatts of power, according to a spokesperson for the company.
The BPU approved Atlantic Shores to build 1,509 megawatts. The project will use 13.6 megawatt turbines, officials said.
The BPU approved Ocean Wind 2 to build 1,148 megawatts. This project will use 14 megawatt turbines, officials said.
The offers are not public and both companies declined to provide further details on their proposals. Atlantic Shores chief commercial officer Joris Veldhoven said in a statement earlier this month that the developer was eagerly awaiting the BPU’s announcement at their meeting later this month.
Increasing heights of offshore wind turbines
Wind turbines in the ocean are much larger than the land-based versions that dominate the landscape in places like the American Midwest. Here’s how the largest turbine on the market, General Electric’s 12 MW Haliede X, compares in size to some well-known structures.
“Through our continued development efforts since 2018, we have connected directly with the communities our project would nurture, as well as with key stakeholders such as commercial and recreational fishers, unionized workers, major academic institutions and more. ,” said Veldhoven. “We are proud that our project provides renewable energy to a million homes, brings millions of dollars of investment to local workers and major academic institutions, creates brand new offshore wind facilities based in New Jersey and ensure New Jersey becomes the national leader in the green economy.”
Other states, from North Carolina to Massachusetts, are also considering offshore projects that would power hundreds of thousands of homes. Up to 17 projects currently proposed or under consideration off the East Coast require more than 1,500 turbines the size of an Eiffel Tower.
Offshore wind turbines continue to get bigger and bigger, as scientists and companies behind the projects say the technology proves that bigger means more efficient. A 12-megawatt turbine, the largest currently on the market and slated for some upcoming U.S. developments, can power a single-family home for two days with just one rotation of its blades.
Proponents of offshore wind farms say they are needed to replace dirtier energy sources like coal and gas, but commercial fishermen in New Jersey, New England and elsewhere say thousands of turbines in the Mid-Atlantic threaten their livelihoods.
It is also not known to what extent thousands of turbines would have on the Mid-Atlantic stratification process. “Cold pool,” a natural process that affects ocean temperatures and wildlife.
Atlantic Shores announced this week that it will fund a $ 500,000 study into how offshore wind farms and climate change will affect surf clams in the mid-Atlantic. The clam industry is one of America’s most valuable fisheries.