The Ocean Wind project is a 1,100MW offshore wind farm proposed to be developed in New Jersey, US. It will be located off the coast of Atlantic City, approximately 24km off the coast of southern New Jersey.
It will be the first utility-scale offshore wind project in New Jersey, supplying clean and reliable energy to more than 500,000 households in the state.
It will be developed by Ørsted with the support of New Jersey’s Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG). Ørsted agreed to sell a 25% ownership interest in the project to PSEG in December 2020. To be completed in the first half of 2021, the deal will see PSEG contributing to the project in terms of both conventional and tax equity investment.
The wind farm is expected to begin operations by the end of 2024. It is expected to generate $1.17 billion in economic benefits and an estimated 15,000 jobs over the project life.
Ocean Wind project background
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) selected Ocean Wind as the state’s first large-scale offshore wind farm in June 2019.
The project will help the state of New Jersey in achieving its goal of producing 7.5GW of offshore wind energy by 2035. Expansion of zero-carbon energy resources is a crucial part of New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan, a strategic plan designed to fulfil the state’s goal of achieving 100% clean energy by 2050.
Ørsted is planning to develop an operations and maintenance (O&M) base for the Ocean Wind project in Atlantic City. Apart from the more than 3,000 direct jobs a year through the project development and a three-year construction cycle, Ocean Wind will also generate 70 full-time jobs at the O&M facility over the 25-year life of the project.
The project will receive an offshore wind renewable energy certificate (OREC) price of $98.10 per MWh produced in the first year, with a levelised net OREC Cost – representing the actual OREC costs to ratepayers after factoring in energy and capacity revenues from the project – estimated at $46.46/MWh. This will result in an estimated ratepayer impact of a monthly bill increase of just $1.46 for residential customers.
The price will be increased by 2% a year during the OREC’s 20-year period.
Ocean Wind project turbine details
The Ocean Wind project will be powered by GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X 12MW offshore wind turbine. GE considers it to be the world’s most powerful wind turbine.
The turbines will also be deployed at the company’s Skipjack project off the coast of Maryland, marking it the world’s first commercial deployment of the Haliade-X 12MW turbine.
The Haliade-X is considered to be the most efficient ocean-based wind platform with a capacity factor of 60%-64%. It has a height of 260m and a rotor diameter of 220m, with each blade having a length of 107m and a swept area of 38,000m².
Variations in the wind speed are not expected to significantly impact the turbine’s operations due to design advantages such as bigger rotor, longer blades, and higher capacity factor. The features enhance the predictability and the capacity to produce more power at low wind speeds. The turbine can capture higher annual energy production (AEP) compared to any other offshore wind turbine even in low wind conditions.
Similar to other Ørsted’s offshore wind projects, the Ocean Wind will be connected to the grid via transmission cables. The cables will originate at the turbines and will be collected together at an offshore substation to be transported to the shore through buried submarine cables.
The cable will be tunnelled beneath the beach using horizontal directional drilling, ensuring the cable remains buried throughout the length of the coastal zone to reduce the impact on sensitive coastal habitats. The buried cable will then run along the existing roadways and rights of ways to finally reach an inland substation to be connected to the existing land-based electrical grid.