UNITED STATES NEWS

Up to two new offshore wind projects are proposed for New Jersey. A third seeks to re-bid its terms

Jul 10, 2024, 4:08 PM

FILE - Land-based wind turbines spin in Atlantic City. N.J. on Nov. 3, 2023. On Monday, July 1, 202...

FILE - Land-based wind turbines spin in Atlantic City. N.J. on Nov. 3, 2023. On Monday, July 1, 2024, the U.S,. Interior Department approved the Atlantic Shores offshore wind project in New Jersey, which would be the state’s first wind farm once additional federal and state approvals are granted. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Wayne Parry, File)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Up to two additional offshore wind projects were proposed for the New Jersey coast Wednesday, and the developers of a third project that already has preliminary approval sought to re-bid its terms.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities received three bids by Wednesday’s deadline in the state’s fourth round of solicitations for offshore wind farms.

At least one would be a new project, and one was a request by Atlantic Shores to rebid half of its previously announced two-phase project, which has already received preliminary state and federal approvals. No information was available regarding the third bid.

Attentive Energy, which also has preliminary approval for a wind farm 42 miles (67 kilometers) off Seaside Heights, said Wednesday it is proposing a second project in New Jersey, but did not immediately give details.

Atlantic Shores said it also submitted a bid that does not propose a new project. Rather, the application seeks to re-bid the first part of its project, called Atlantic Shores 1, while bunding it with the second half, Atlantic Shores 2.

The utilities board is allowing companies to re-bid previously approved projects. If they are approved in this fourth round of solicitations, their original approval will be canceled, and the company must put up an irrevocable $100 million letter of credit, among other requirements.

Atlantic Shores did not specify which aspects of its original bid it is seeking to change.

As it was initially announced, Atlantic Shores, consisting of two phases, would be built between Atlantic City and Long Beach Island in southern New Jersey. It would generate 2,800 megawatts, enough to power 1 million homes. It could not be determined Wednesday if a potential re-bid would change those dimensions.

The Interior Department said the Atlantic Shores project would be about 8.7 miles from shore at its closest point. But the company has previously said that it will not built right up to that line and that the closest turbines will be at least 12.8 miles from shore.

Atlantic Shores is a joint partnership between Shell New Energies US LLC and EDF-RE Offshore Development LLC.

The third bidder had not identified itself as of Wednesday evening, and the BPU did not reveal the identities of the bidders, saying only that the bids would be reviewed and acted upon by December.

Two other projects previously have received preliminary state approval.

One from Chicago-based Invenergy and New York-based energyRE. Called Leading Light Wind, it would be built 40 miles (64 kilometers) off Long Beach Island and would consist of up to 100 turbines, enough to power 1 million homes.

Another from Attentive Energy would not be visible from the shoreline. It is a joint venture between Paris-based TotalEnergies and London-based Corio Generation, and it would power over 650,000 homes.

Attentive Energy was one of several companies that failed to reach a final deal for a wind farm in New York in April.

New Jersey has set ambitious goals to become the East Coast hub of the offshore wind industry. It built a manufacturing facility for wind turbine components in the southern part of the state to help support the growth of the industry here.

But it has been a bumpy ride thus far. Last October, Danish wind developer Orsted scrapped two offshore wind farms that were far along in the approval process, saying it no longer made financial sense to pursue the projects.

And New Jersey has become the epicenter of resident and political opposition to offshore wind, with numerous community groups and elected officials — most of them Republicans — saying the industry is harmful to the environment and inherently unprofitable.

Supporters say widespread use of wind and solar energy is essential to move away from the burning of fossil fuels, which contributes to climate change.

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Follow Wayne Parry on X at www.twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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Up to two new offshore wind projects are proposed for New Jersey. A third seeks to re-bid its terms