Interior proposes auctioning 344K acres off N.J. coast

Source: Jessica Estepa, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014

Interior officials yesterday proposed developing wind energy on nearly 344,000 acres off the New Jersey coast, enough to power about 1.2 million homes.

The New Jersey Wind Energy Area — divided into the north area of 183,353 acres and the south area of 160,480 acres — is located about 7 nautical miles from Atlantic City. If fully developed, the area would generate up to 3,400 megawatts.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management identified the area by working with a task force made up of federal, state, tribal and local government representatives.

“Today’s announcement is a testament to the true collaboration and commitment from New Jersey for harnessing clean energy, and it reflects extensive consultations with a number of local communities and stakeholders to minimize conflicts and bring clarity and certainty to potential wind energy developers,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement.

The proposed sale notice will be published in Monday’s Federal Register. A public comment period on the proposal will be open through Sept. 19.

BOEM plans to host a public seminar Aug. 6 about the auction process.

“The key to responsible offshore development is substantial stakeholder engagement to identify and address any concerns early in the process,” BOEM acting Director Walter Cruickshank said in a statement.

Click here to see a map of the proposed area.