By Valerie Volcovici
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Biden administration on Wednesday approved construction of an offshore windfarm that will generate 1,100 megawatts of power from up to 98 turbines off the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey, becoming the third such project in the United States.
Approval of Orsted’s Ocean Wind by the Interior Department is the administration’s latest move toward meeting its goal of developing 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind in the U.S. by 2030 on every shoreline.
Interior previously approved Vineyard Wind off of Massachusetts and South Fork off of Rhode Island, both of which are under construction.
“Today’s approval for the Ocean Wind 1 project is another milestone in our efforts to create good-paying union jobs while combating climate change and powering our nation,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
Ocean Wind could power up to 380,000 homes and create 3,000 jobs from development through a three-year construction cycle, according to the Interior Department.
As part of its approval during the environmental review process, Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Management said it would take a series of monitoring and mitigation measures to reduce impacts on marine animals and fish, including vessel speed restrictions, and will create a direct compensation program for fisheries.
It also consulted with the Delaware Nation and Delaware Tribe of Indians, as well as the Shinnecock Indian Nation.
Another 14GW of offshore wind energy is in the pipeline with 7 projects undergoing review, said Liz Burdock, founder and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, who added that a supply chain for building out the industry is also emerging domestically.
“The U.S. supply chain is coming to life as factory workers in Paulsboro, New Jersey, fabricators in Baltimore, Maryland, and construction workers at New Jersey’s wind port are manufacturing Ocean Wind 1’s turbine components and ports,” said Burdock.
(Reporting by Valerie VolcoviciEditing by Bill Berkrot and Nick Zieminski)
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