The U.S. Department of Energy on Feb. 25 released a draft environmental assessment on the Fishermen’s Atlantic City Windfarm LLC (FACW) project, to be located in the Atlantic Ocean off of New Jersey.
DOE is proposing to provide funding to the company to support the development of an offshore wind renewable energy facility within New Jersey State Waters located approximately 2.8 miles off the New Jersey coast from Atlantic City. The project would consist of up to six wind turbine generators that would generate up to approximately 25 MW of electricity and the necessary electrical transmission facilities (i.e., undersea and underground cable) to connect the wind farm to an existing electrical substation, located in Atlantic City, for interconnection to the regional power grid.
This power would be sold to the market through the state’s energy regulating agency, the Board of Public Utilities (BPU), or directly to a large independent power consumer. FACW started the various state and federal permitting processes for their offshore wind farm in 2009. To date, all required state and federal permits have been obtained for the offshore wind farm, the draft EA noted.
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) prepared an EA of its own for this project. During the permit review, the USACE received concurrence under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Concurrence was also obtained from NMFS regarding the impact of the project on Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) under the Magnuson Stevens Fisheries Conservation Act. The USACE also coordinated with the US Coast Guard (USCG) regarding issues related to navigation, with the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) regarding air quality, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding aviation safety. The USACE is a cooperating agency in the development of the Energy Dept. EA. The project has been modified since issuance of the Corps permit, and DOE is reviewing entire scope of the modified project, while USACE is only reviewing those portions of the original project that have been modified.
This 25-MW project has also lately advanced a step further in the PJM Interconnection queue process, with PJM issuing a Facilities Study on the project dated January 2015. PJM queue project #U2-045 is a Fishermen’s Atlantic City Windfarm request to interconnect a 20 MW energy (2.6 MW capacity) wind facility to Atlantic City Electric’s transmission system at the Huron 69-kV Substation. Project #W4-063 is a 5 MW energy (0.65 MW capacity) upgrade to U2-045.