Ninth US Offshore Wind Development Project Gets Approved

(Image credit: Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind)

The Department of the Interior has announced its approval of the Atlantic Shores South offshore wind energy project—the nation’s ninth commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project approved under President Biden’s leadership. With the approval, the Department has approved more than 13 gigawatts of clean energy from offshore wind energy projects—enough to power nearly five million homes.

“The Biden-Harris administration is building momentum every day for our clean energy future, and today’s milestone is yet another step toward our ambitious goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore energy by 2030,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Our clean energy future is now a reality—thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we are addressing climate change, fostering job growth, and promoting equitable economic opportunities for all communities.”

“Under President Biden’s leadership, this Administration is building a bright future for American offshore wind, going from zero gigawatts of commercial-scale projects approved to more than 13 gigawatts in the last three years—a surge of progress that means good-paying jobs for thousands of workers and clean energy for millions of homes,” said President Biden’s National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi. “The approval of an offshore wind project that has a labor agreement with six New Jersey unions reflects the win-win opportunities that we are seizing to benefit local workers and communities. The Biden-Harris administration will continue to use every available tool to grow the American offshore wind industry as we strengthen the nation’s power grid and tackle the climate crisis.”

“The approval of the Atlantic Shores South Wind project follows an intentional, collaborative process,” said Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Elizabeth Klein. “At BOEM, our dedication to engaging with Tribal Nations, states, other government agencies, industry, environmental organizations, and ocean users remains paramount, ensuring responsible energy development while addressing community concerns and safeguarding our marine ecosystems.”

In addition to the milestone achieved on July 2, since the start of the Biden-Harris administration, BOEM has held four offshore wind energy lease sales, including offshore New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas, and the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. The Department also recently announced a schedule of up to 12 additional lease sales through 2028.

The Atlantic Shores South wind project consists of two wind energy facilities—Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Project 1 and 2—and associated export cables, which are expected to generate up to 2,800 megawatts of electricity, enough to power close to one million homes with clean, renewable energy. The project is approximately 8.7 miles offshore of New Jersey at its closest point. To provide energy to New Jersey, Atlantic Shores South proposed up to 200 total wind turbine generators and up to ten offshore substations with subsea transmission cables potentially making landfall in Atlantic City and Sea Girt, New Jersey. BOEM has approved the construction of up to 195 wind turbine generators.

On May 23, 2024, BOEM announced the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed project, which analyzed the potential environmental impacts of the activities outlined in the project’s construction and operations plan and considered reasonable alternatives. BOEM held four public meetings and a nation-to-nation consultation during the public comment period on the draft EIS to gather valuable feedback from Tribes, government agencies, ocean users, and others.  The feedback resulted in measures identified to avoid, minimize, or mitigate the potential impacts of the project, including visual impacts and potential impacts to marine life and to existing ocean uses such as fishing. The Record of Decision describes these measures, which BOEM will require as terms and conditions of its approval of the Atlantic Shores South Construction and Operations Plan.

The “Notice of Availability of a Joint Record of Decision for the Proposed Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind South Project” will be published in the Federal Register in the coming days. For further information on the Atlantic Shores South Project, please visit BOEM’s website.

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