Are Offshore Wind Farms the Future of Atlantic City?

Yesterday, feds announced they’ll lease nearly 344,000 acres off the South Jersey coast for commercial wind energy.

south-jersey-offshore-wind-940x540

New Jersey Wind Energy Area

The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced yesterday the proposed sale of commercial wind energy leases for nearly 344,000 acres off the South Jersey coast as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

BOEM proposes to auction the Wind Energy Area as two leases: the South Lease Area (160,480 acres) and the North Lease Area (183,353 acres). The Wind Energy Area begins about seven nautical miles off the coast from Atlantic City. A map of the Wind Energy Area can be found by clicking here.

Perhaps this is the future of Atlantic City: Wind energy boom town.




Analysis performed by the Department of Energy suggests that the area, if fully developed, could support up to 3,400 megawatts of commercial wind generation which could power around 1.2 million homes.

Following the July 21, 2014, publication in the Federal Register of a "Proposed Sale Notice," there will be a 60-day comment period ending September 19, 2014 (you'll be able to submit comments starting July 21st at regulations.gov under docket No. BOEM-2014-0029).

Comments received or postmarked by that date will be made available to the public and considered before the publication of the Final Sale Notice, which will announce the time and date of the lease sale.

The Proposed Sale Notice also provides detailed information concerning the areas available for leasing, the proposed lease provisions and conditions, auction details (e.g., criteria for evaluating competing bids and award procedures) and lease execution.

According to the South Jersey Times, the announcement could also be a boon for Paulsboro, N.J., right across the Delaware River from the airport.

The announcement by the feds may prove beneficial for the Port of Paulsboro, where a company could end up building components for wind turbines.

In 2013, representatives from the state government met with former governor Jim Florio and investors in a major wind energy project — Atlantic Wind Connection — at the Port of Paulsboro to discuss the possibility of the port becoming a construction site for wind energy converter platforms.

The port has been vacant for more than a decade and "the wind turbine news has been one of the few glimmers of hope for the site in recent years," the paper reports. So perhaps this is the future of Paulsboro: Wind turbine boom town.

Of course, not everyone is a fan. The Courier-Post reports:

[T]he closest locations of some of those lease blocks — within seven miles of beaches — gives pause to David Mizrahi, vice president of research for New Jersey Audubon, who’s done extensive research on the potential effects of wind turbines on migratory birds.

“I see that as a problem,” said Mizrahi, who did studies when the Atlantic County Utilities Authority built its monumental 380-foot-high onshore turbines in Atlantic City. He’s concerned that locations closer to shore could harm migratory birds. According to an 2013 article on Smithsonian.com, between 140,000 and 328,000 birds die each year from collisions with wind turbines.

[Department of the Interior-BOEM | South Jersey Times | Courier-Post]

 

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  • noturbine

    Industrial Wind Turbines fail as a solution to global warming, meeting our energy needs and creating jobs. It’s as simple as the wind often doesn’t blow at high enough speeds to spin the blades, or create significant power from the spinning. Every MW of wind energy must be matched with a MW of fossil fuel generation, called spinning reserve, to make up for the shortfall. They are not “green” as claimed. Here are a few articles explaining this and more:
    1) Energy blow as wind power fuels pollution
    http://tinyurl.com/kb43eyf
    2) The dirty secret of Britain’s power madness: Polluting diesel generators built in secret by foreign companies to kick in when there’s no wind for turbines
    http://tinyurl.com/nfkflzx
    3) Reality Check: Germany’s Defective Green Energy Game Plan
    http://tinyurl.com/mwox2hj
    4) Study: Wind Power Raises CO2 Emissions
    http://tinyurl.com/k3cp6lt
    5) Subsidizing CO2 Emissions via Windpower: The Ultimate Irony
    http://tinyurl.com/5wwy7wq
    6) Government Lab Finds Wind Energy Not Meeting Carbon Emission Goals
    http://tinyurl.com/7q5n9v9
    7) Power struggle: Green energy versus a grid that’s not ready
    http://tinyurl.com/lgrnsbm
    8) AWEA Confirms Electricity Prices Skyrocketing In Largest Wind Power States
    http://tinyurl.com/on7k5n6
    And wind turbines kill more birds – threatened eagles, hawks, falcons, osprey, etc. – than you could ever imagine:
    1) Wind turbines kill up to 39 million birds a year!
    http://tinyurl.com/dxagmzo
    2) US Wind Turbines Kill Over 600,000 Bats A Year (And Plenty Of Birds Too)
    http://tinyurl.com/nyo8ru3
    Wind energy is a sham and only the wind industry, certain politicians, and their crony capitalist associates benefit. However, they are very good at sales propaganda.

  • elt100

    noturbine: The area off Brigantine is rated as having the most consistent winds in the country. If that is indeed the case, are you saying that turbines can’t be effective anywhere?

  • Charliefoxtrot

    This isn’t happening. Unless brave lefties can band together to demand their electricity bills will double? Offshore wind farms are the most expensive way to make power, and all over the world are having difficulty raising the money needed to get going, even with the State colluding to steal fascist-lite subsidies directly from your utility bills.

    Again, I really think that Organizing for America simply needs to get its members paying double for electricity, and matching Scandi tax payments on income too, just to show us mouthbreathers how a modern, progressive society functions….just do it for a year, and donate the money to charity.

    Otherwise, like Obama taking every available tax deduction, you guys are just wishing for a utopia that someone else has to pay for.

    • Fuzziness

      The reality is (ignoring all the political cobwebs in your post) that all energy production is costly. Nuclear costs more in the long run than the power it’s even capable of producing. Fossil fuels including natural gas have polluting by products. Wind energy is expensive to maintain, and like solar energy, isn’t always as dependable per MW. Hydroelectric is the worse, because the cost never meets the production. So what do we do? We need energy, and everytime it’s picking the lesser or two (or more) evils.

      • Charliefoxtrot

        No, some energy producing sources are vastly cheaper. It’s not the same at all to say that land and ocean based turbines have similar costs and maintenance schedules, for example.