Blue state county votes unanimously in opposition to offshore wind improvement

A county in New Jersey voted unanimously to oppose an offshore wind farm proposed for its shoreline, citing the undertaking’s unfavorable impacts on the atmosphere, tourism business and seashore vistas.

In a 4-0 vote this week, the Cape Might County, New Jersey, Board of Commissioners handed a decision green-lighting cheap use of all of the county’s sources to oppose the wind projects developed by Danish multinational vitality firm Orsted. The county can be contemplating authorized choices and appealed a state public utility allow it says would switch “actual property pursuits” from residents to Orsted.

“At first, the County of Cape Might was fascinated about making an attempt to work with Orsted to discover a means ahead, maybe with some modifications to the undertaking to cut back visible, environmental and financial impacts,” Cape Might County Board of Commissioners Director Len Desiderio mentioned in an announcement. 

“We want to see land-based offshore wind services and provide chain infrastructure constructed right here in New Jersey, since that may create good alternatives for commerce staff and others,” Desiderio continued. “However we can’t sit quietly by as tons of of windmills are put in off our seashores as state and federal authorities businesses ignore our professional and critical considerations.”

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AT SEA - JULY 07: Wind turbines generate electricity at the Block Island Wind Farm on July 07, 2022 near Block Island, Rhode Island. The first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States is located 3.8 miles from Block Island, Rhode Island in the Atlantic Ocean. The five-turbine, 30 MW project was developed by Deepwater Wind and began operations in December, 2016 at a cost of nearly $300 million. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Offshore wind generators generate are pictured on July 7, 2022 close to Block Island, Rhode Island. (John Moore/Getty Photos)

The decision notably targets Orsted’s Ocean Wind 1 and Ocean Wind 2 initiatives, which collectively, would include practically 200 wind generators throughout 161,000 acres in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape Might County. In response to the county, the generators can be as shut as 9 miles from its shoreline and can be seen from each seashore within the county.

The undertaking would even have two transmission line corridors with one substation in Cape Might County.

In response to the decision, Cape Might County officers have engaged with Orsted since 2021, however the negotiations in the end fell by means of after the corporate turned to state and federal officers who have been supportive of the event.

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“As time glided by, it turned clear that Orsted was not fascinated about discovering any compromise,” added Desiderio, the chairman of the county’s board of commissioners. 

“It’s clear to us now that the strategy amongst this international company and their companions within the state and federal governments is to construct these items as quick as they will regardless of the potential for devastating environmental and financial impacts,” he mentioned. “On behalf of the individuals of Cape Might County, we is not going to let that occur with out a combat.”

President Biden factors to a wind turbine measurement comparability chart throughout a gathering in regards to the Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership on June 23, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Photos)

The county additional argued the wind undertaking would have little to no optimistic impression on international warming, result in a 15% decline in tourism which interprets to a billion-dollar loss for the native economic system and harm marine wildlife.

As a part of the trouble to oppose Orsted’s initiatives, the county employed Virginia-based legislation agency Cultural Heritage Companions, the Washington, D.C.-based environmental consulting group Warwick Consulting and former New Jersey Superior Court docket Decide Michael Donohue to function particular counsel and offshore wind coordinator.

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“The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, with its President, different members, and workers, after asserting that they’re ‘companions’ with Orsted and sporting wind turbine blade lapel pins, disadvantaged the County and Ocean Metropolis of required due course of and acted in an indefensibly biased and unfair vogue in ruling in favor of the Danish wind firm and in opposition to the duly elected officers of Ocean Metropolis and the County,” Donohue mentioned in an announcement.

“The Commissioners have licensed the exploration of authorized challenges on all fronts, together with challenges to [New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection] permits and a bunch of federal permits that will likely be issued over the approaching months,” he continued.

Cape Might County is New Jersey’s southernmost county, consists of 16 separate jurisdictions and has a inhabitants of about 95,000 residents.

Orsted did not instantly reply to a request for remark.

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