Representatives from offshore wind developer Orsted hosted public information sessions this past week in Atlantic City and Ocean City to update the curious on its current project.

At The Claridge — a Radisson Hotel in Atlantic City on Thursday and the Tabernacle in Ocean City on Saturday, Orsted presented images that showed what the company’s turbines would look like when viewed from local landmarks — specifically Lucy the Elephant in Margate and the Ocean City Boardwalk.

“We take high-resolution photographs from different viewpoints on the coast and then superimpose what the wind farm would look like in a technically accurate way,” said Kris Ohleth, senior stakeholder relations manager for Orsted. “It gives stakeholders a sense of what the wind farm would look like once it’s built.”

The 1,100-megawatt Ocean Wind farm will be the third largest wind farm in the world and is expected to open in 2024, creating more than 3,000 construction jobs in the process, according to Orsted. The two-year construction project is expected to begin in winter 2022.

Orsted also brought with it maps that showed where the onshore component of its project could be.

The company already has decided to build a substation at the site of the former Oyster Creek nuclear plant in Forked River, Lacey Township.

A second substation will be needed, but a decision on location has not been made between the closed B.L. England electric generating plant site in Beesleys Point, Upper Township, or the Higbee/Ontario substation in Atlantic City, where three routes are being examined for underground utility cables.

“We want to be very respectful of the pristine coastal areas that are here in New Jersey,” Ohleth said, “so we absolutely want to make sure that we take every effort we can to bury the cables at the beach landings.”

One possible route would begin at 35th Street in Ocean City and run along Roosevelt Boulevard in Upper Township before heading north to a substation near B.L. England. According to Ohleth, the only thing visible would be a new manhole on the street in case they need to access the cable.

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. made an appearance during the Claridge open house.

“We want to make sure that minorities and locals have the opportunity on this, and more importantly, that they are trained and ready to go,” said Small. “We have to continue to diversify our offerings in the city of Atlantic City.”

Former Gov. Jim Florio also attended the Atlantic City open house.

“This whole energy field is now an environmental issue,” Florio said. “You have to pay for coal. You have to pay for oil. You have to pay for gas. You don’t have to pay for wind.”

Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian considers the project important for his community, especially after the closing of B.L. England last May.

“People don’t realize how important that was to Cape May County,” Gillian said of the coal-powered plant. “So if there’s any way we can get electricity into B.L. England and energize that area again ... it’s not just about Ocean City.”

Contact: 609-272-7202


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