SOUTHERN OCEAN COUNTY, NJ – Yesterday, Governor Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order raising New Jersey’s offshore wind goal from 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind-generated electricity by 2030 to 7,500 megawatts by 2035. At least one company already has plans to expand the alternative energy source right here in Southern Ocean County.
In late August, representatives from Ørsted met with local members of the community to discuss their plans for an offshore wind farm. The goal is to develop the wind farm 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City. Ultimately, approximately half a million homes would receive electricity as a result of wind energy.
During the presentation made by Ørsted representative Kris Ohleth said the company’s aim was to ultimately take advantage of the hardened grid at the retired Oyster Creek Power Plant. “We would bring the cable in somewhere around the Island Beach State Park area, “shared Ohleth.
From there, the cable would then move further and ultimately facilitate the ability to inject power.
Holtec International, the company decommissioning the power plant, has not committed to the concept of wind power at the site. At an Oyster Creek Stakeholders’ Forum in September, Holtec Vice President Jeff Dostal responded to questions regarding repurposing of the power plant.
“The generator is specific to Oyster Creek and is matched to our turbine,” explained Dostal. “They cannot use the same generator.”
Although the current generator will need to be scrapped, the company is considering other options. “We are looking to repurpose the infrasite,” Dostal continued. “If it’s not Holtec, it will be somebody else.”
According to Dostal, Holtec is looking to expand, which could mean using Oyster Creek as a location for battery storage. Dostal acknowledged that connecting wind power to the existing grid is another option.
“We’re also looking at solar,” said Dostal. “These are all options that we are looking at.”
According to the Executive Order executed by the Governor, the offshore wind industry will generate billions of dollars in investments in New Jersey’s future, that will, in turn, create thousands of jobs. Locally, an estimate of 3,000 jobs would be created in both Ocean and Atlantic counties during constructions. That number would ultimately be reduced to 70.
Stephanie A. Faughnan is a local journalist and Director of Writefully Inspired, a professional writing and resume service. Feel free to contact her at email@example.com.