Home Office Reviews New Jersey Offshore Wind Energy Projects
As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind power by 2030, the Interior Department announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will conduct an environmental review of two proposed wind energy development projects off New Jersey.
“The Home Office is moving quickly to develop a clean energy future with well-paying union jobs,” Home Secretary Deb Haaland said. “Offshore wind has tremendous potential for our country, and the wind resources off New Jersey are no exception. As we begin this process, the Department will continue to do its part to ensure that the development of our offshore renewable energy resources is done in a responsible and sustainable manner. “
Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind LLC (Atlantic Shores) has submitted a plan to construct and operate two commercial scale offshore wind projects in federal waters approximately 8.7 miles off the New Jersey shore. The first of the two projects will have a capacity of 1,510 MW, enough to power more than 700,000 homes. Throughout their life cycle, the projects are expected to generate more than 22,290 jobs. The projects could also help New Jersey meet its ambitious goal of developing 7.5 GW of offshore wind power generation by 2035.
BOEM will publish a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIA) in the Federal Register on September 30, 2021. The publication of the NOI will open a 30-day public comment period. During this time, BOEM will hold three virtual public meetings and accept comments to inform the preparation of the EIA. These public meetings and comments will help BOEM to determine the scope of significant resources and issues, factors driving impact, reasonable alternatives, and potential mitigation measures that should be analyzed in the EIA.
“We are committed to facilitating a transparent and inclusive process for every offshore energy development project,” says Amanda Lefton, Director of BOEM. “Public input plays a critical role in identifying and mitigating the potential impacts of proposed energy development activities. This is why BOEM is committed to working closely with ocean users, such as commercial fishermen, as well as industry, tribes, government partners and conservation organizations, to ensure that the development of offshore wind is done in an environmentally friendly and responsible manner.
The 30-day public comment period runs until 11:59 p.m. EST on November 1, 2021.