Public Hearing Planned for Transmission Cables from Offshore Wind Farm

Wind turbines in the ocean outside Copenhagen, horizontal

Photo: monap / E+ / Getty Images

A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday evening to discuss a proposal by Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind LLC to run high-voltage cables from an offshore wind farm under Atlantic City. The cables will transfer power from the wind farm, located ten miles offshore, to a generating station in Egg Harbor Township.

The proposal includes the installation of the portion of the electric transmission export cable within New Jersey State waters off the coast of Atlantic City. The cable will make landfall in Atlantic City and continue onshore to a proposed substation on Fire Road in Egg Harbor Township. The remainder of the export cable will connect to the Cardiff substation in Egg Harbor Township.

Opponents of the plan, including Defend Our Beaches NJ, argue that the project could jeopardize the health and safety of Atlantic City residents and significantly impact the local and county economy, which relies heavily on tourism. They also express concerns about potential environmental justice issues, as the project could disrupt neighborhoods primarily composed of minority populations.

The hearing will provide an opportunity for the public to voice their opinions on the proposed project. Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind LLC is seeking approval to divert Green Acres Program protected land to facilitate the onshore routing of the high-voltage cables. The proposed land for exchange with their diversion request is supposed to be an equivalent or better parcel of land to be protected. Critics argue that the proposed exchanged land, which includes BAY/Coastal Wetlands off of West End Avenue, is not equivalent or better as it cannot be used for open space recreation nor developed.

The public hearing is part of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's evaluation of potential impacts of the project. The overall Atlantic Shores South Offshore Wind Project consists of up to 200 wind turbine generators, up to 10 offshore substations, interarray and interlink cables, and export cables located in Federal offshore waters approximately 8.7 miles from the New Jersey shoreline.

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