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The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has identified nearly 800,000 acres as Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) in the New York Bight, between Long Island and the New Jersey coast. The agency will now initiate an environmental review, with public input, on these areas in federal waters for potential offshore wind leasing.
 
The goal of BOEM’s Area Identification process is to identify the offshore locations that appear most suitable for wind energy development taking into consideration coexistence with ocean users. As part of this process, BOEM removed areas of highest conflict from consideration. BOEM will now prepare an environmental assessment (EA) to consider potential environmental consequences of site characterization activities (i.e., biological, archeological, geological, and geophysical surveys and core samples) and site assessment activities (i.e., installation of meteorological buoys) associated with issuing wind energy leases in the WEAs. The New York Bight WEAs are located in an area of shallow waters between Long Island (to the north and east) and the New Jersey coast (to the south and west).
 
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) also 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.
 
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.
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