EDF Renewables is taking another shot at New Jersey's offshore wind industry.
The company has formed a joint venture with Shell New Energies to build a wind farm eight miles off Atlantic City's coast, only a day after New Jersey nixed its proposal to construct a smaller demonstration project in state waters, calling it too expensive.
The two companies have acquired a 180,000-acre lease from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to plan a wind farm off Atlantic City on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, EDF said in a news release. Named Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, LLC, the joint venture is subject to regulatory approvals.
The area has the potential to produce 2,500 megawatts of energy and power nearly 1 million homes in a population center with high electricity demand, EDF said. The joint venture will begin a site assessment of the lease area and hopes to have the wind farm operating by the mid-2020s.
“Gaining access to this acreage in New Jersey complements our successful entry to Massachusetts and our existing renewable generation business,” Dorine Bosman, vice president of Shell Wind Development, said in a statement.
A company in which Shell is a stakeholder recently won an auction for a lease to build a wind project off Massachusetts, according to Shell.
Shell and EDF’s plans come as the state moves forward with an aggressive plan to develop 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind energy in New Jersey by 2030.
Up and down the East Coast, states are competing to develop offshore wind hubs that will create jobs and jumpstart local economies. Atlantic City is home to one of New Jersey’s first wind farms, the 7.5 megawatt Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm that opened in 2005 on the grounds of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority’s wastewater treatment facility off Route 30.
“The U.S. offshore wind industry is quickly advancing with strong Federal and State support," said Tristan Grimbert, president of EDF Renewables North America. "The industry is well-positioned to meaningfully contribute to the New York and New Jersey economies through employment and supply chain opportunities.”
Danish company Orsted, which developed the country’s first project off Rhode Island, has plans to jump into New Jersey’s burgeoning offshore wind industry as well. It wants to build a large-scale project 10 miles from Atlantic City.
All bid applications for the first 1,100 megawatts must be submitted to the BPU by the end of the month. And there will be more bidding to come: The BPU plans to open solicitations for an additional 1,200 megawatts in 2020 and 2022.