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Offshore wind farm developer secures approval to connect to Oyster Creek

Oyster Creek was New Jersey's first nuclear generation station, opened in 1967. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Oyster Creek was New Jersey's first nuclear generation station, opened in 1967. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

A proposed offshore wind farm could revive the closed Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Ocean County.

The Danish offshore wind company Ørsted has secured rights from the New Jersey Board of Utilities to connect its proposed “Ocean Wind Project” farm 15 miles east of Atlantic City to the Oyster Creek plant for regional energy distribution, according to an NJ Spotlight report.

New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel lauded the approval.

“Oyster Creek is a very good location for Orsted to build an offshore wind farm. There are sub stations and power lines already in place to connect to. This is important to get the power on land without building any more power lines,” he said in a prepared statement.

The nuclear plant in Lacey Township went offline last September.

Ørsted representatives previously said that the $1.6 billion project could produce up to 1,100 megawatts of energy, powering an estimated 500,000 homes, and bring 100 permanent jobs during the wind farm’s expected 25-year life cycle.

The company launched the world’s first offshore wind farm in 1991 and owns and operates the U.S. firm’s offshore wind farms near Block Island, Rhode Island. Ørsted hopes to have the Ocean Wind Project online by 2024.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration has set a goal of 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind generation by 2030, or enough to power more than 1.5 million homes. The governor wants a 100-percent clean energy state by 2050.

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