The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has approved the plan for construction and operations of New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm, Ørsted’s Ocean Wind 1, marking a major milestone for the project.
While Ocean Wind 1 still awaits a number of additional approvals, including a Construction and Operations Plan in September, the Record of Decision granted by BOEM was considered the last major hurdle for the offshore wind project, which is on track to begin construction this fall.
The project, which BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein described as a significant step forward for the US offshore wind industry, is located about 13 nautical miles southeast of Atlantic City, and is expected to be capable of powering over 380,000 homes when operational.
Ocean Wind 1 marks the third approval for a commercial-scale offshore wind-energy project in the US, with two wind farms already under construction off Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Earlier this week, Ørsted also won final legislative approval from New Jersey to obtain federal tax credits aimed at alleviating challenges associated with the offshore wind industry such as constraints in the supply chain, rising borrowing costs and inflation.
The Murphy administration is banking on offshore wind providing approximately 27% of the state’s electricity as it moves away from its reliance on fossil fuels and confronts a worsening climate crisis.
“By preparing to begin construction this fall, Ocean Wind 1 will help bring New Jersey one crucial step closer to achieving a 100% clean energy economy by 2035 and 11,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2040,’’ Gov. Phil Murphy said.
Ørsted plans to construct up to 98 wind turbines and as many as three offshore substations within its lease area off southern New Jersey. The project is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs through its three-year construction cycle.
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