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NJ - Proposed Offshore Wind Farm's Environmental Impact a Growing Concern on LBI

Growing opposition to a proposed wind farm off the coast of Long Beach Island is about more than just having an altered beach view of the horizon. So much more, according to a lifelong Ship Bottom resident and business owner.

September 19, 2018

In a three-page letter to the Ship Bottom Borough Council, Gregory Cudnik, owner of Fisherman’s Headquarters, laid out his concerns about the environmental impact windmills would pose off the coast of LBI and the lack of environmental studies for the Mid-Atlantic Bight. The letter was read into the record at the council’s Feb. 23 meeting at the request of Mayor William Huelsenbeck.

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind is poised to build the second wind farm in the state, in part off the coast of Long Beach Island. The closest western, or in-shore, boundary of the lease is 10 miles from Barnegat Light and 9 miles from Holgate. The lease area has the potential to generate 3 gigawatts of offshore wind energy. Atlantic Shores plans to start onshore construction of substations in 2024 and offshore construction by 2025. The project is a 50-50 partnership between Shell New Energies US LLC and EDF Renewables North America. It was formed in December 2018 to co-develop nearly 183,353 acres of leased sea area on the Outer Continental Shelf, located within the New Jersey Wind Energy Area.

Just south of the proposed Atlantic Shores wind farm is the Ocean Wind project, owned and developed by Ørsted with the support of PSEG. That wind farm is expected to be operational in 2024 and would produce enough electricity to power more than 500,000 homes, according to the Ørsted website.

“The wind farm developers lack critical data because there is little to no environmental studies on wind projects specific to the Mid-Atlantic Bight and our unique cold pool feature,” Cudnik wrote. The cold bottom waters support local fisheries’ ability to thrive, he said.

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