Ocean Wind was going to produce 1,100 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 500,000 homes in New Jersey. (Adobe Stock)

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By Edwin J. Viera

November 6, 2023 

Just as New York is making a huge investment in offshore wind, New Jersey’s largest offshore wind farm project has been canceled.

Project owner Orsted cited economic reasons for the cancellation. The contracts to develop Ocean Wind 1 and 2 were negotiated in 2018 but the company said recent inflation on construction products has made pursuing the projects challenging.

While some see it as the end of offshore wind power on the Jersey Shore, some officials are much more optimistic.

Caren Fitzpatrick, an Atlantic County commissioner, said it is merely a setback.

“The next farm that’s in the works right now is the Atlantic Shores farm, and that’s ’26 also,” Fitzpatrick pointed out. “If we can get this re-contracted in a reasonable amount of time, maybe we’re a year behind, maybe we’re two years behind.”

Orsted has said it will move forward with New York offshore wind projects. Fitzpatrick noted one of the biggest concerns has been the future of New Jersey’s offshore wind workforce. New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority predicts those jobs will peak in 2030 at 20,000, with steady growth over the next decade.

Ocean Wind was going to be the largest wind farm in New Jersey.

Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey, said there are concerns about how the cancellation will impact the state reaching its clean energy goals, but he feels the goals are still achievable.

“It’s good to have the long-term perspective,” O’Malley emphasized. “Our climate goals are 80% reductions by 2050 in state law, through the Global Warming Response Act, and the governor has a goal of 11,000 megawatts by 2040.”

He added Orsted was investing in developing a supply chain, which established a blueprint for other offshore wind developers to work with. This includes the New Jersey Wind Port. The two-phase wind turbine manufacturing port will have close to 200 acres of manufacturing and marshaling space to move turbines up and down the Delaware River.