Posted on August 30, 2023
Anyone taking the temperature of local support this summer for wind farms planned off the Long Beach Island coast would know it runs near frigid most days. Still, Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind submitted a bid to the N.J. Board of Public Utilities earlier this month to expand its initial wind farm project, first approved in 2021.
The company rendered its proposal Aug. 4. The project is a 50-50 partnership between Shell New Energies US LLC and EDF Renewables North America. It was formed in December 2018 to co-develop nearly 183,353 acres of leased sea area on the Outer Continental Shelf, located within the New Jersey Wind Energy Area.
“Today’s bid submission marks the culmination of over four years of dedicated planning and research by the Atlantic Shores team to deliver the most economically, environmentally, and socially responsible renewable energy solution for New Jersey,” said Joris Veldhoven, chief executive officer of Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind. “We are thrilled to be on the forefront of New Jersey’s clean energy transition, taking on a leading role in assisting the state to achieve its 11,000 MW offshore wind target.”
Should the BPU select Atlantic Shore’s proposal, the company would supply renewable energy to hundreds of thousands of New Jersey households beyond the 1,510 MW already planned as part of Atlantic Shores Project 1.
The Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind project is comprised of three phases, with the first phase expected to be approved later this year. It includes 120 turbines to be placed in the Atlantic Ocean with phase two calling for the placement of 80 turbines; phase three has 157 turbines.
Project 1 is expected to begin construction in 2025, and operations would start in 2028. Its operational period ends in 2048.
As proposed, the wind farm would see 1,000-foot-high turbines between 9½ and 13½ miles out in the ocean off the entire length of LBI and extending farther eastward. While offshore construction is expected to begin later in the decade, an exact date has not yet been set.
“The distinct advantages of Atlantic Shores’ advanced permitting program, combined with a total resource capacity of more than 5,000 MW across its portfolio, result in the developer offering New Jersey the most ‘make-ready’ proposal available in the third offshore wind solicitation,” company officials said in an Aug. 4 statement announcing its proposal.
Atlantic Shores has also submitted a pre-build infrastructure bid.
“The unmatched maturity of the proposal to the State of New Jersey, including the PBI bid, provides a measure of certainty for on-time clean energy infrastructure delivery that can also accommodate multiple construction timelines from other projects selected in this solicitation or future ones,” according to the company.
The proposal also expands and enhances existing partnerships with research and monitoring initiatives, while growing its significant portfolio of local economic investments in communities across the state, Atlantic Shores’ officials said.
Earlier this summer, the BPU rebuffed an initial request for a hearing to revisit its 2021 approval granting above-market prices for power produced by the Atlantic Shore Offshore Wind Project 1. The request was submitted in June by Save LBI, which has plans to refile its request, this time via an attorney.
The group is pushing back against what it says is the negative economic impacts the project would have on beach tourism, the Jersey Shore and fishing communities.