The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted by Ocean Wind LLC (Ocean Wind) that would allow it to construct and operate an 1,100 megawatt (MW) wind energy facility offshore New Jersey. The publication of the NOI opens a 30-day public comment period. During this time, BOEM will hold three virtual public scoping meetings and accept comments to inform preparation of the EIS.
The announcement came during a White House forum in which Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, and the Secretaries of Energy, Commerce, and Transportation, met with representatives from states, the offshore wind industry, and members of the labor community to identify challenges and solutions facing this new industry.
“The offshore wind industry in the United States can significantly contribute to the United States power mix to bring clean energy to the grid, create new good-paying jobs and confront the current climate crisis,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “BOEM will work with industry, Tribes, government partners, the fishing community, conservation organizations, and labor unions to make sure that any offshore wind development is done in an environmentally safe and responsible manner. Public input plays an essential role for identifying and mitigating any potential impacts from proposed energy development activities.”
BOEM’s scoping process is intended to identify what should be considered in the Ocean Wind COP EIS. Throughout the scoping process, there will be multiple opportunities to help BOEM determine the important resources and issues, impact-producing factors, reasonable alternatives, and potential mitigating measures that should be analyzed in the EIS.
The 30-day public comment period extends through 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on April 29, 2021. BOEM’s virtual scoping meetings will be held at the following dates and times (Eastern):
- Tuesday, April 13, 2021; 1:00 p.m.
- Thursday, April 15, 2021; 5:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, April 20, 2021; 5:30 p.m.
Registration for the virtual public meetings may be completed here: https://www.boem.gov/ocean-wind
Highlights from Ocean Wind’s proposal include the following:
- Construction and operation of an offshore wind project with a total capacity of 1,100 MW (enough to power 500,000 homes).
- Installation of up to 98 turbines, up to three offshore substations and up to two export cables & onshore substations.
- Foundations consisting of monopile for turbines & monopile or piled jacket foundations for offshore substations.
- Atlantic City identified as the location for an onshore operations and maintenance (O&M) facility.
- New Jersey Board of Public Utilities awarded Ocean Wind the state’s first Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificates (OREC) award for 1,100 MW in June 2019.
The Ocean Wind project would be in federal waters approximately 13 nautical miles (15 statute miles) southeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The onshore export cables, substations, and up to two grid connections would be in Ocean and Cape May Counties, New Jersey.