STATUS: In progress
OPPOSITION: American Littoral Society; State Department of Environmental Protection
BACKGROUND: The Garden State Offshore Energy (GSOE) wind project would install 96 turbines producing up to 346 megawatts. The project’s total capital investment is estimated to be at least $1 billion and would benefit the area by providing hundreds of new jobs in construction and replacing 11 million tons of CO2.
The State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) expressed concerns regarding the potential impact on commercial fishing and boating and disruption of marine life. The department believed that the turbines could also kill shorebirds.
In October 2008, the New Jersey approved the project and its Board of Public Utilities, voted unanimously to accept an evaluation committee's recommendation to award a $4 million wind energy grant for the project. The project will be built in stages starting in 2010, after the DEP wraps up an ecological survey.
As of October 2010, DEP had finished a two-year study of 73 miles of coastline looking at the migratory patterns of birds, whales, dolphins and sea turtles in preparation for the offshore wind projects. Additionally, Garden State Offshore Energy’s president announced it was moving forward with plans to install state-of-the-art mobile wind resource assessment equipment – SeaZephIR, whichwill be installed to assess wind resources and monitor water conditions. The information gathered will be used to evaluate any potential environmental impacts and used as a guide to aid in the design and engineering of GSOE’s project.
Project developers predict that the project will not be complete until at least 2013.
SOURCES: The Star-Ledger http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/03/about_half_of_the_state.html;
Environment New Jersey http://www.environmentnewjersey.org/in-the-news/energy/energy/three-propose-wind-farms-off-jersey-shore;
New York Times http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/03/new-jersey-approves-offshore-wind-farm/?hp;
New Jersey Online: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/10/new_jersey_choses_developer_fo.html;
Garden State Wind Press Release: http://www.gardenstatewind.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Oct0410GSOErelease.pdf;
Press of Atlantic City: http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/breaking/article_0530be97-d86e-5a91-b518-a9e2b9e251b3.html
Last updated November 19, 2010