Two major offshore wind power projects are taking steps forward in New Jersey as the owners of one project agreed to bring the federal government in on their environmental monitoring plans at an earlier stage than has ever been done, and federal regulators said plans for another project are not expected to kill or seriously injure marine life.
They come as New Jersey continues to grow as a hub of opposition to offshore wind projects from residents’ groups and their political allies, mostly Republicans. The state’s Democratic governor and Democratic-controlled Legislature want to make the state the East Coast leader in offshore wind energy.
Community Offshore Wind, a joint venture between Essen, Germany-based RWE and New York-based National Grid Ventures, on Thursday announced a five-year partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to promote the exchange of data and expertise on environmental monitoring for offshore wind projects.
The agreement will bring the federal agency into the company’s planning process at a much earlier stage than is currently done in the offshore wind industry, an arrangement that could become the new industry standard, according to company president Doug Perkins.
“Instead of us coming up with this on our own and getting some feedback from the agencies, we will work together to make sure that it’s efficient in the data they collect,” he said. “It creates the opportunity, the avenue for us to engage with them, and for them to engage with us, to make sure that our plans, how we’re sampling, where we’re sampling, when we’re sampling, fits with what they do and with what will be required of the industry.”
Source : ABC