By Mike Catalini, Associated Press
PRINCETON, New Jersey — A Danish off-shore wind company that has proposed projects in Massachusetts and Virginia will be opening an office in Atlantic City with the goal of supplying enough energy for 1.5 million homes, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday.
Murphy, who spoke at the International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum in Princeton, said Orsted is opening in the gambling resort as part of the firm’s proposed Ocean Wind project.
The Democrat cast the decision as a boost to his goal to reach 3,500 megawatts of off-shore wind energy by 2030 and a totally renewable energy sector in the state by 2050. He said the project and others that he hopes may come to the state would serve as a counterpoint to Republican President Donald Trump’s push for offshore drilling.
“Opening of this office is just the beginning,” Murphy said. “The more projects we can get into the pipeline the more we can prove the folly of the Trump administration’s intention to open up the Jersey shore to fossil fuel drilling.”
The Ocean Wind project is a 250-square-mile patch of the Atlantic Ocean about 10 miles off Atlantic City’s coast. Orsted also helps run the Bay State Wind project, roughly 20 miles off Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, and the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project near Virginia Beach.
Thomas Brostrom, who runs Orsted’s North America operations, said in an interview that surveys are underway and that construction off New Jersey’s coast could come by the early 2020s.
The project would create about 1,000 jobs a year over two to three years during construction, plus about 100 permanent jobs, according to Murphy. The opening of the office initially would employ just a handful of people, Brostrom said, but “would grow from there.”
Murphy said the turbines could produce about 3,000 MW of energy, or enough for about 1.5 million homes.