As part 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) is announcing the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed Ocean Wind 1 wind energy project offshore New Jersey.
BOEM’s DEIS for the proposed Ocean Wind 1 Offshore Wind Farm analyzes the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action described in Ocean Wind’s project plan for constructing and operating an offshore wind energy facility. This is the first DEIS published by this Administration for an offshore wind energy project.
The Notice of Availability for the DEIS will publish in the Federal Register on June 24, opening a 45-day public comment period, which ends on August 8. During the comment period, BOEM will conduct three virtual public meetings and accept comments on the DEIS. The input received via this process will inform preparation of the Final EIS.
“BOEM remains committed to an environmental review process that establishes a strong foundation for offshore wind projects in the U.S. while promoting ocean co-use and avoiding or reducing potential conflicts,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton. “The feedback provided by ocean users and our many stakeholders will help inform the Final EIS and provide invaluable insight to decision makers.”
Over the past year, the Biden-Harris administration and the Interior Department have launched the American offshore wind industry by approving and celebrating the groundbreaking of the nation’s first two commercial-scale offshore wind projects in federal waters. The Department also announced plans to potentially hold up to seven new offshore lease sales by 2025, including the record-breaking New York Bight auction and Carolina Long Bay auction held earlier this year. BOEM also expects to complete the review of at least 16 plans to construct and operate commercial, offshore wind energy facilities by 2025, which would represent more than 22 GW of clean energy for the nation.
Ocean Wind proposes to construct up to 98 wind turbines generators (WTGs) and up to three offshore substations within the lease area, located 15 statute miles southeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey, with export cables making landfall in Ocean County and Cape May County, New Jersey. If all 98 WTGs are approved for installation, the estimated capacity range will be from 1,215 to 1,440 megawatts, capable of powering up to 504,000 homes per year.
BOEM will use the findings of the EIS to inform its decision on whether to approve Ocean Wind’s proposed project.