N.J. offshore wind project approved; more lease sales coming in August

July 8, 2024

The Department of the Interior (DOI) has approved an offshore wind energy project off the New Jersey coast, the ninth commercial-scale offshore wind facility approved in the United States. The Atlantic Shores South project is expected to raise the total amount of clean energy from offshore wind projects in the U.S. to more than 13 gigawatts, sufficient to power nearly 5 million homes.

“Going from zero gigawatts of commercial-scale projects approved to more than 13 gigawatts in the last three years [is] a surge of progress that means good-paying jobs for thousands of workers and clean energy for millions of homes,” National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi said.

The Investing in America agenda is rebuilding infrastructure, driving over half a trillion dollars in new private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments, the department said.

Since 2021, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has held four offshore wind energy lease sales, including offshore New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas and the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts.

The Atlantic Shores South wind project consists of two facilities — Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Project 1 and 2 — along with associated export cables. The facilities are expected to generate up to 2,800 megawatts of electricity, enough to power nearly 1 million homes with clean, renewable energy.

Located approximately 8.7 miles offshore from New Jersey at its nearest point, the project will supply energy to New Jersey with up to 200 wind turbine generators and up to 10 offshore substations, with subsea transmission cables potentially making landfall in Atlantic City and Sea Girt, N.J. The BOEM has approved the construction of up to 195 wind turbines.

New leases to come available in August

The Atlantic Shores South approval comes less than a week after BOEM announced it would hold an offshore wind energy lease sale in the Central Atlantic. The areas to be auctioned Aug. 14 could generate up to 6.3 gigawatts and power up to 2.2 million homes.

The Final Sale Notice (FSN), published in the Federal Register on July 1, includes one area consisting of 100,000 acres offshore from Delaware and Maryland and another area covering 175,000 acres offshore from Virginia. Seventeen companies have qualified to participate in the August sale.

The new sale shows “our commitment to explore additional areas in the Central Atlantic for potential offshore wind energy development,” BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein said. “BOEM will continue to work with all ocean users to ensure offshore wind energy proceeds in an environmentally responsible manner.”

The agency plans to offer up to eight additional lease sales through 2028.

BOEM collaborated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science to create an ecosystem-based ocean planning model in selecting the final lease areas. The FSN includes detailed information about the areas available for leasing, specific lease provisions and conditions, auction details, criteria for evaluating competing bids, and procedures for lease award, appeals and lease execution. Additional details and a map of the area can be found on BOEM’s website.

Photo by Ionna22

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