New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, an advocate for offshore wind energy, said, “Today’s announcement of the decision record for Ocean Wind 1 is extremely significant not only for Orsted, but for New Jersey’s nation’s leading offshore wind industry as a whole. It will be an important turning point.” , in the release.
Construction of two other large-scale offshore wind projects approved by the Home Office’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is already underway.
The Vineyard Wind 1 project off Massachusetts and the South Fork wind projects off Rhode Island and New York are expected to generate about 800 megawatts and 130 megawatts of energy, respectively.
Ocean Wind 1 is the largest of the three projects. Orsted plans that Ocean Wind 1 will provide 1,100 megawatts of energy from up to 98 General Electric Haliade-X wind turbines located approximately 15 miles off the southern coast of New Jersey. Orsted said the project could potentially power about 500,000 homes, while BOEM projects a slightly lower figure of about 380,000.
” [approval] This is an important step toward powering New Jersey homes and businesses with clean, renewable offshore wind,” said Allison McLeod, senior policy director for the New Jersey Conservation Voters Alliance.
The Department of the Interior said in a statement that the approval is a step forward for the offshore wind industry and constitutes “significant progress” towards the Biden administration’s goal of developing 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030. Stated.
“The Biden-Harris administration has been committed to revitalizing the offshore wind industry across the United States, and today’s approval of the Ocean Wind 1 project will help fight climate change and invigorate the nation, while at the same time promoting high-wage unions. It’s another milestone in our effort to create jobs,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. release.
But to meet the administration’s climate change goals, proposed wind projects up and down the East Coast will have to overcome steep obstacles, including opposition from Republicans and locals. The resistance is particularly high in Cape May County, and many coastal areas will be able to find wind turbines off the coast.
With concerns ranging from whale deaths to the impact of turbines on local tourism, residents have joined groups such as New Jersey’s Protect Our Coast NJ to rally against the project. ing. These activist groups have taken legal action against the wind farm project.
The county is also seeking attorneys to help block offshore wind development. In June, the county voted to add two more law firms to its legal team to challenge federal regulatory decisions and permits issued to Orsted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Michael J. Donoghue, who serves as the county’s special counsel, said Cape May County is reviewing the BOEM’s decision and said, “If there is a legal challenge, what steps will be taken?” We will decide whether to pursue it,” he said.
In addition to legal issues, Oceanwind 1 is also plagued by rising interest rates and inflation. Last week, the New Jersey legislature narrowly passed legislation to keep Mr. Olsted’s federal tax credits in order to address what lawmakers say is the lingering economic toll of inflation and the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite these setbacks, Orsted said in a release that, with BOEM approval, the project is expected to begin onshore construction this fall and offshore construction in 2024. The project is expected to enter commercial operation in 2025, according to the company.
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