New Jersey issues permits for pilot offshore wind farm

Fishermen’s Energy, an offshore wind power developer founded by commercial fishermen, received permits from New Jersey to build a six wind turbines demonstration wind farm project off the coast of Atlantic City.

Fishermen’s Energy, based in Cape May, New Jersey, received an electric-line easement and licenses to site the wind farm project’s six wind turbines 4.5 kilometers offshore. The wind energy developer also completed a yearlong environmental review to analyze the project’s effects on birds, marine mammals and sea turtles.

The wind power project still needs a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit before construction can begin and the company must choose a wind turbines vendor and complete financing. It will have power generation capacity of less than 25 megawatts and will cost about $250 million to $300 million.

The Atlantic City project may be in service late next year, making it one of the first commercial offshore wind farms in the U.S. It will be sited in state waters, less than 3 miles from shore, and therefore will not require other federal approval needed when building farther out to sea.

The U.S. Interior Department said in February it may offer wind energy leases by the end of the year for larger wind farm projects proposed in federal waters off New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.