The large offshore wind energy project planned off the New Jersey coast will connect to the two onshore power plants. The cables that will connect these will run under two popular beaches of the state. The Ocean Wind Project planned by Orsted, the Danish wind energy developer revealed at a virtual public hearing that the project will connect to the electric grid at the decommissioned power plant in Cape May and Ocean Counties.
The Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Lacey Township would have the northern connection. The former BL England Plant at Upper Township will have the southern connection. Governor Phil Murphy’s administration has pushed the BL England plant to be used for offshore wind since 2019. The same year, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities had previously paved the way for Orsted to use the Oyster Creek site.
The cables need to cross Island Beach State Park in Ocean County, which will run under the beach, dunes, and existing parking lots out to the Barnegat Bay. It would come ashore directly at the Oyster Creek site, Bay Parkway, or Lighthouse Drive in Waretown. The permit manager for Orsted, Pilar Patterson, said that in the summer the onshore beach work would be kept to a minimum.