The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) officially accepted the application tendered by EDF Renewables and Fishermen’s Energy for the Nautilus Offshore Wind project. The agency is expected to review the project over the next few months and make a decision on whether to approve the project for immediate construction, which will be located approximately 2.8 miles east of the coastline of Atlantic City and could be complete as soon as 2020. The small-scale project, expected to be comprised of three wind turbines with a combined capacity of up to 25 megawatts (MW), is a crucial first step towards implementing the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA) and building a workforce capable of meeting Governor Phil Murphy’s statewide goal of 3,500 MW of offshore wind generation by 2030.
The project is expected to employ the equivalent of 600 workers for a year during construction as well as additional jobs during operations and maintenance. New Jersey residents across the state could expect to begin receiving power generated by the Nautilus Offshore Wind project as early as 2021. It’s estimated that for the average New Jersey electric consumer, the additional cost of power will amount to about $1.76 per year, which is less than the price of a cup of coffee. In return, an independent analysis showed that Nautilus is expected to increase New Jersey’s total economic output by $150 million with construction by 2020. Maintaining the offshore wind project could add $16 million annually for the state, with a projected economic and environmental net benefit of $235 million.
“Our purpose with Nautilus is not just to deliver offshore wind power, but to leverage this initial build to help the New Jersey workforce quickly gain deep expertise in offshore wind in comparison with other states,” said Doug Copeland, EDF Renewables regional project manager. “With offshore wind poised to become one of the nation’s fastest growing production sectors, there is a real opportunity for New Jersey to lead the country in implementing future commercial scale projects faster and more cost effectively – all with a minimal impact on the ocean environment.”
A number of New Jersey economic organizations and political officials have already voiced support for the project.
“Nautilus will make it possible for Atlantic City to become the birth place of an emerging industry, creating new jobs and sustainable economic growth,” said New Jersey Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo. “When approved, the project will be the start of an energy transformation that will allow for a brighter and cleaner future here in Atlantic City, in Atlantic County and across the state.”
“A myriad of benefits will be realized through the experience gained in implementing the Nautilus Offshore project,” said Philip K. Beachem, president of the New Jersey Alliance for Action. “We welcome clean energy investments such as this, that have the potential to bolster economic growth across the state.”
“Nautilus is poised to create hundreds of new jobs in the short term, as well as lay the foundation for future employment growth throughout the region. The Keystone+Mountain+Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters looks forward to expanding its clean energy workforce that will be equipped to expand New Jersey’s economy,” said William Sproule, assistant executive secretary treasurer of the Keystone+Mountain+Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters.
Liz Burdock, president and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, added, “The Nautilus Offshore project is a perfect example of how states can quickly kick off the build of their offshore wind economies. Along our U.S. coastline, offshore wind provides us with the power to create unparalleled job and economic growth.”
EDF Renewables plays a leading role in offshore wind energy, having gained several years of experience with a strong portfolio of offshore wind projects in development throughout Europe totaling almost 2 gigawatts (GW), including three projects along the French coastline with 1.5 GW in total capacity, and a 450 MW offshore wind project in the UK. EDF Renewables already operates more than 800 MW of offshore wind capacity with three projects: C-Power (325 MW) in Belgium, Teesside (62 MW) and Blyth (41.5 MW) in the UK, and the operations and maintenance of 400 MW of offshore wind capacity with the recent acquisition of a company specialized in this activity based out of Germany.
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