US Interior Department approves wind farm project offshore New Jersey

Offshore wind turbines
Offshore wind turbines (representative photo only)Pixabay.com

The US Department of the Interior (DOI) has approved the Atlantic Shores South offshore wind energy project off New Jersey. This is the United States' ninth commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project to be approved since the start of the current administration.

With the approval issued on Tuesday, July 2, the DOI has approved more than 13 GW of clean energy from offshore wind energy projects. The department claims this is enough energy to power nearly five million homes.

The Atlantic Shores South wind project consists of two wind energy facilities — Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Project 1 and 2 — and associated export cables, which are expected to generate up to 2,800 MW of electricity, enough to power close to one million homes with clean renewable energy. The project is approximately 8.7 miles ( kilometres) offshore New Jersey at its closest point.

To provide energy to New Jersey, Atlantic Shores South proposed up to 200 total wind turbine generators and up to ten offshore substations with subsea transmission cables potentially making landfall in Atlantic City and Sea Girt, New Jersey. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has approved construction of up to 195 wind turbine generators.

On May 23, 2024, BOEM announced the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed project. The EIS analysed the potential environmental impacts of the activities outlined in the project’s construction and operations plan and considered reasonable alternatives.

BOEM held four public meetings and a nation-to-nation consultation during the public comment period on the draft EIS to gather valuable feedback from Tribes, government agencies, ocean users, and others. The feedback resulted in measures identified to avoid, minimise, or mitigate the potential impacts of the project, including visual impacts and potential impacts to marine life and to existing ocean uses such as fishing. The Record of Decision describes these measures, which BOEM will require as terms and conditions of its approval of the Atlantic Shores South Construction and Operations Plan.

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