Work on offshore wind farm begins, but some NJ groups fight plan
Construction of a facility that will build wind turbines for offshore wind farms started this week, but there are still groups pushing back the plan.
The plan for wind power includes the construction of 98 wind turbines off the Jersey coast. The $ 1.6 billion wind farm is known as Ocean Wind and is a partnership with Orsted and PSE & G.
“Construction activities will be taking place outside of the summer tourist season,” says PSE & G vice president of development Lathrop Craig.
But there are groups in New Jersey who are against the wind farm.
“The level of awareness is only just starting to rise here, but most people don’t even know these are on offer,” says Jim Binder, leader of LBI Wind Without Impact.
Binder’s group is fighting to preserve the ocean in its current state. He says turbines may not be profitable and threaten endangered species.
“Our research shows that the right whale migrates in this area. There are only about 300 or 400 left. They are on the endangered species list, ”says Binder.
Some fishermen also claim that the wind farm will have an impact on their businesses.
“It’s tough for the fishermen who work in these leasehold areas and if they lose their access, it’s over,” says Fisheries Liaison Officer Kevin Wark.
Wark says his task is to educate major energy and government entities about the impact of turbines on the fishing community. He also wishes to facilitate a compromise between all interested parties when creating future projects.
“We won’t have a solvent commercial fishing industry in New Jersey if we don’t protect these fishing boats,” he says.
Construction of the wind farms is not expected to start before 2023 with full commissioning by 2025.
Ocean Wind is expected to produce enough electricity to serve 500,000 homes in the region.