Ocean Wind Brings Clean, Green Energy to New Jersey

By: Sue Weston

Kris Ohleth, Senior Manager of Stakeholder Involvement at Orsted, spoke to MBS students and Professor Ed Linky's Fundamentals of Sustainability class on November 1, 2018. Kris discussed how the Ocean Wind project will position New Jersey as a national lead in leveraging offshore wind power. To quote Kris, ‘There is so much energy in nature, we just need to harness it!’ Wind provides sustainable, clean, green energy. Orsted plans to install the first offshore wind farm in New Jersey, with future expansion from Virginia to Massachusetts.  The New Jersey location was selected because it is near densely populated areas with high energy costs. The conditions in New Jersey are ideal as water depth will not exceed 80 feet, weather is not extreme, and Orsted has secured federal property ten miles from Atlantic City. 

Professor Ed Linky and Kris Ohleth discuss the Ocean Wind project

Orsted is currently evaluating the ocean conditions, educating stakeholders, and working with Rutgers to study how to protect the marine mammals in the area. Based on their experience in Europe, recolonization occurs after construction and the turbine foundations will become artificial reefs. Supporting the Wind farms will bring employment to New Jersey, creating approximately 1,000 jobs during the construction period and 100 jobs once they are operational in 2030. Since this is the first US installation, initially the machinery will be shipped, but once the effort is underway, Orsted anticipates that manufacturers will build local factories.