Ocean floor surveying will be getting underway off the southern New Jersey coast as part of a second major offshore wind project planned for the Garden State.
The geophysical surveying off the coast of Ocean and Atlantic counties is for the Atlantic Shores wind farm and within a 183,000-acre lease area on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf that extends between nine to 20 miles in an area between Barnegat Light and Atlantic City. Water depth in the area ranges from 60 to 100 feet.
“The data obtained provides important seabed conditions and marine habitat data that helps inform future project siting and engineering activities,” said a statement from Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, LLC, a partnership between Shell New Energies US LLC and EDF Renewable North America.
Survey vessels will be operating around the clock, weather permitting, between May 1 and August, according to Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, LLC. You can track the vessels here.
Surveys for the “Ocean Wind Project,” situated 15 miles east of Atlantic City and proposed by the Danish energy firm Ørsted, were completed in 2019. State regulators approved the project last year.
The first of about 140 Ocean Wind Project turbines is scheduled to start generating power in 2024, following a lengthy permitting and construction process. The project will create 15,000 jobs over the 20-year life of the project, according to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and help lessen the impacts of climate change and rising sea levels.
Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration has set a goal of 7,500-megawatt offshore wind generation by 2035, or enough to power more than 3.2 million homes. The governor seeks to have a 100% clean energy state by 2050.
According to New Jersey’s recently-released Energy Master Plan, under one potential scenario to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050, offshore wind will make up approximately 23 percent of the state’s energy supply.
Only one offshore wind farm currently exists in the United States: a five-turbine project off the coast of Rhode Island operated by Ørsted.
Nicholas Pugliese contributed to this report.