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US: BOEM releases final Environmental Impact Statement for two wind projects offshore New Jersey

28 May 2024

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In support of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced the availability of the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for two wind energy projects offshore New Jersey. If approved, the two projects could generate about 2,800 megawatts of electricity, enough to power almost 1 million homes.

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind submitted a combined Construction and Operations Plan for two wind energy facilities and associated export cables on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore New Jersey: Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Project 1 and 2, collectively referred to as the Atlantic Shores South Wind Project. The combined proposal includes up to 200 total wind turbines and up to ten offshore substations with subsea transmission cables potentially making landfall in Atlantic City and Sea Girt. The lease area covers approximately 102,124 acres and is approximately 8.7 miles offshore New Jersey at its closest point.

'Public engagement and Tribal consultations were vital in informing BOEM's thorough environmental evaluation of the proposed Atlantic Shores South Wind Project,' said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. 'Completing this environmental analysis is a significant milestone in the administration's drive to realize clean energy ambitions that will enhance the lives of Americans now and for generations to come.'

BOEM held four public meetings and a Tribal consultation meeting in June 2023 to gather feedback on the Atlantic Shores South draft EIS from Tribal Nations, local community members, commercial fishing interests, and other ocean users.

Biden-Harris Administration’s Progress to Catalyze the Offshore Wind Industry

Since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, the Department of the Interior has approved the nation's first eight commercial scale offshore wind projects with a combined capacity of more than 10 gigawatts of clean energy - enough to power nearly 4 million homes. Since January 2021, the Department has held four offshore wind lease auctions – including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf Coasts.

The Department has also taken steps to grow a sustainable offshore wind industry by encouraging the use of project labor agreements, strengthening workforce training, bolstering a domestic supply chain, and through enhanced engagement with Tribes, fisheries, underserved communities, and ocean users.

On April 24, 2024, Secretary Haaland announced a new five-year offshore wind lease schedule, which includes up to 12 potential offshore wind energy lease sales in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific, and the waters offshore of the U.S. territories over the next five years.

The Department also recently announced that BOEM and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement have finalized updated regulations for renewable energy development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. The final rule increases certainty and reduces the costs associated with the deployment of offshore wind projects by modernizing regulations, streamlining overly complex processes and removing unnecessary ones, clarifying ambiguous regulatory provisions, and enhancing compliance requirements.

The Atlantic Shores South Wind Project FEIS will be published in the Federal Register in the coming days. For more information, visit BOEM’s website.

Original announcement link

Source: BOEM

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