New Jersey COPs to it: Ocean Wind 1 receives federal approval

Fall has arrived, bringing with it thick sweaters, colorful leaves, and the green light for Ocean Wind 1 to start construction. As of September 21, New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm has received final approval of its Construction and Operations Plan (COP).

As part of the approval process for offshore wind farm Ocean Wind 1, Ørsted submitted a Construction and Operations Plan (COP). The COP provides key project details, such as how construction will be carried out, how turbines will be spaced, and how marine habitats will be protected. In late September, Ørsted’s COP for Ocean Wind 1 was approved by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

Following this approval, construction on Ocean Wind 1 may now begin, starting with onshore construction. The offshore wind farm is expected to become operational in 2025, with final commissioning in 2026.

This represents a major win for the state of New Jersey, which has ambitious clean energy targets for 2030. Support for Ocean Wind 1 has come from Governor Phil Murphy, the NJ Board of Public Utilities, the NJ Economic Development Authority, the NJ state legislature, and the AFL-CIO. “This marks a monumental benchmark for the Garden State,” noted Governor Murphy. “With federal approval of Ocean Wind 1's Construction and Operations Plan, there can be no doubt that we are turning our bold vision for responsible offshore wind development into reality.”

A project built on community benefits

Following final approval of Ocean Wind 1, hundreds of workers will begin temporary and permanent jobs in construction, operations, and maintenance. These include jobs at America’s first monopile fabrication facility, Ørsted’s upcoming Operations & Maintenance facility in Atlantic City, and onshore construction work through JINGOLI Power and Burns & McDonnell. Small business owners are also reaping economic benefits from Ocean Wind 1, receiving funding from Ørsted’s $15 million Pro-NJ Grantor trust to join the local supply chain.

In addition to job creation, Ocean Wind is developing training opportunities for New Jersey residents. A notable example is Wind Power Ready: Atlantic City, a joint program created by Rowan College of South Jersey, the Center for Family Services, the New Jersey Wind Institute, and Ørsted. This first-of-its-kind workforce development program will enable dozens of New Jersey residents to train as wind technicians, while being paid full-time and receiving employment-boosting support services.

Altogether, Ocean Wind 1 is slated to add $695 million to New Jersey’s economy, bringing job creation, workforce development and training, infrastructure improvements, and supply chain expansion.

A key success for New Jersey stakeholders

Approval of Ocean Wind 1’s COP is a victory for a variety of local stakeholders, including government officials, unions, businesses, colleges and universities, and environmentalists.

In the words of Christine Guhl-Sadovy, President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities: “Today’s decision from BOEM brings us another step closer to achieving New Jersey’s offshore wind goals. I am excited that Ocean Wind 1, the largest wind farm in the United States, is approved to begin construction to bring clean, renewable power to the people of the Garden State.”