500,000 homes powered
“For Atlantic City, offshore wind means new educational and job opportunities for locals. I’m particularly excited for Ørsted’s Wind Power Ready program, which will train future wind turbine technicians right here in New Jersey.
Atlantic City Mayor
What is Ocean Wind 1?Ocean Wind 1 is an offshore wind farm being developed 15 miles off the coast of southern New Jersey. The 1,100 MW project is being developed by Ørsted, a leader in offshore wind in the U.S. and worldwide. Once complete, Ocean Wind 1 will generate enough clean energy to power half a million New Jersey homes and businesses.
How will energy from Ocean Wind 1 reach the electrical grid?
Offshore wind farms are connected to the electrical grid using submarine transmission cables that are attached to offshore wind turbines. Energy passes through the cables to an offshore substation, and is then transported to shore via subsea cables. These cables run deep beneath the beach, remaining buried along the entire length of the coastal zone, avoiding impacts on sensitive habitats.
From there, the buried cable runs along existing roadways and rights of ways, alongside other utility infrastructure, to an inland substation, where energy is delivered to the electrical grid.
Will Ocean Wind 1 impact New Jersey’s natural ecosystems?
We are committed to building offshore wind power sustainably, and we take great care to ensure that wind energy and wildlife can thrive side by side. Our biodiversity policy sets out the principles that underpin our efforts to protect the natural environment in the areas where we construct and operate offshore wind farms.
We collaborate extensively with stakeholders to understand local considerations and sensitivities to potential offshore wind farm locations as we site the projects. We work to minimize impacts during construction and continuously monitor and mitigate potential impacts during the operational life of the wind farm.
For Ocean Wind 1, we have extensively engaged with key environmental and marine stakeholders in and around New Jersey, and have planned our project to have minimal impacts.
What is the relationship between offshore wind and marine mammals?
Offshore wind farms have a limited impact on marine mammals. While construction and installation activity do produce noise, Ørsted uses noise abatement and mitigation technologies to dampen noise that would otherwise disturb underwater life. Protective measures are employed during all phases of offshore construction.
For example, during pre-construction, we perform high-resolution geophysical (HRG) surveys using equipment that operates at frequencies undetectable by marine mammals. Survey vessels travel at speeds no greater than 10 knots to reduce noise, and marine observers are always onboard to watch for underwater creatures.
More broadly, the offshore wind industry is subject to the highest levels of protection for marine mammals and protected species. Every aspect of our surveys, construction, and operations are reviewed by multiple local, state, and federal agencies. We are also subject to protective conditions, including vessel speeds, time of year restrictions for construction activities, and regulations requiring onboard observers.
This is why there is no evidence linking offshore wind activity to whale strandings. In fact, offshore wind farms have a crucial role to play in protecting whales by fighting climate change, which has caused whales' migration patterns to change. These new patterns put whales at risk of colliding with ships, a common cause of whale deaths.
Ørsted is committed to taking a responsible, nature-conscious approach to developing offshore wind farms. We work closely with scientists, conservationists, and biodiversity experts to ensure the peaceful coexistence of offshore wind and marine wildlife.
Who determines when offshore wind farms are built?The federal government determines when seabeds on the outer continental shelf can be leased. When leases open, offshore wind developers are invited by the government to bid on predetermined lease areas.
States will then issue a solicitation for project bids, asking developers to submit proposals for offshore wind farms. States do this as a way to meet their clean energy targets and procure energy over a certain term at a fixed price. These bids include the technical specifications for the wind farm and investment commitments to be made to the state.
In this case, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities awarded Ørsted a solicitation for building Ocean Wind 1 in June 2019.