FAQ

When will the project be built?

The development process for Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind is already underway, including research and permitting. This phase could potentially extend up to five years. Subject to a positive final investment decision, the wind project could deliver electricity by the mid-2020s.

Will the turbines be visible from the shoreline?
The turbines are expected to be built approximately 10-20 miles from the shoreline. Under certain visibility and weather conditions, it is likely that the turbines could be seen on the horizon. Shoreline views are something that Atlantic Shores is carefully taking into consideration during our current planning process.
How much will it cost to construct the project?

Construction of Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind is privately funded through a joint venture between EDF Renewables North America and Shell New Energies.

How will the wind turbine layout be designed?
  • Turbine layout planning will consider dominant wind conditions, engineering design standards, existing ocean uses, sensitive habitat, etc. in order to achieve maximum efficiency while minimizing the impact to the area.
  • Wind turbines will be planned in a uniform grid pattern. Turbine rows will be oriented in an easterly/westerly direction; the distance between rows will be equally spaced as will the distance between turbines within the rows. This orientation will help create natural corridors within the layout for vessels to operate and/or transit.
  • Initial planning uses vessel traffic patterns to orient turbine rows to support the predominant direction of vessel traffic. Spacing between rows is planned to be one (1) nautical mile.
  • The number of wind turbines and the spacing between wind turbines along each row is still under development.
How are the sizes (or makes and models) of wind turbines determined? How big is the average turbine?
  • Atlantic Shores is working with the leading global suppliers to determine which turbine will be best suited for the lease area.
  • Over the last decade (2010-2020), turbine technology has significantly advanced. The distance across the turbine rotor (rotor diameter) has nearly doubled and turbine heights continue to increase. Turbine technology will continue to become more efficient and economical as global offshore wind demand increases.
  • The choice of wind turbine will be made with careful consideration based on where technology will be in the future.
  • A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) describes present-day turbine technologies which have a total height of around 850 ft from mean sea level and a rotor diameter of around 750 ft. Blades extend down to about 75 ft above the water. It is important to note that these dimensions vary depending on specific turbine manufacturers and models.  More general technology information can be found here.
What kind of scour protection will be used around the wind turbines?
  • Scour protection may be installed at the base of each foundation to prevent erosion that may occur due to bottom currents.
  • There are a range of scour options that Atlantic Shores is currently evaluating:
    • Rocks: up to three layers of rock, with the lower layer(s) consisting of smaller rock and the upper armor layer consisting of larger rock.
    • Rock bags: a rock-filled filter unit enclosed by polyester mesh that is non-corrosive, rot-proof, and weather-resistant with proven 30-year durability.
    • Grout- or sand-filled bags: bags filled with grout or sand and lowered into place by the installation vessel cranes.
    • Concrete mattresses: high-strength concrete blocks cast around a mesh that holds the blocks in a flexible covering.
    • Frond mattresses: buoyant fronds approximately 3 ft (1 m) high, which are designed to replicate how natural seaweed reduces water velocity locally, are densely built into a mattress.
  • The need for and selected type of scour protection will be determined by the final design of the foundations, environmental and seabed data collected, and ongoing stakeholder and agency consultations.
How will cables be buried?
  • Cables connecting turbines to the offshore substation within the wind farm (Inter-array cables) and cables connecting the substations to shore (export cables) will be buried using a variety of methods to a target depth of 6-feet below the seabed.
  • Offshore burial methods may include use of a towed sea plow and/or a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) with seabed jetting capabilities.  Specific tools will be chosen once cable routes and associated seabed characteristics are confirmed.
  • Additional cable protection (such as a rock berm) may be needed in areas where the achieved burial depth is insufficient to protect the cable and/or in areas where existing subsea infrastructure (e.g. telecom cables) are crossed.
  • From the cable landing to a position offshore, the cable will be installed under the beach within a Horizontally Directionally Drilled (HDD) conduit to protect it from erosion within the surf zone and during storm events.
  • The burial condition of the cables will be periodically monitored throughout the project lifetime.
Will turbines have lighting?

Wind turbines will be marked and illuminated based on requirements established by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and the Federal Aviation and Administration (FAA). Wind developers are working with mariners and agencies to determine best practices for lighting and marking that meet needs of mariners.

Will fishermen be able to fish within the wind farm

We will not restrict fishing in the Lease Area or around our wind turbines once constructed. It is our intent to coexist with the fishing community. To ensure safety of mariners and Atlantic Shores team, there could be temporary exceptions to this during the construction phase. We will work closely with mariner and fishing communities at the appropriate time if temporary exceptions are necessary.

How will navigational safety be prioritized?
  • Navigational safety is a priority for Atlantic Shores. We fully recognize there must be balance and coexistence between the multiple users and uses in our Lease Area and to do so without compromising mariner safety.
  • Atlantic Shores has conducted a detailed Navigational Safety Risk Assessment for the Project Area that evaluates the Project-related effects on all types of vessel navigation.
  • In addition to the USCG and FAA wind turbine marking and lighting requirements, Atlantic Shores will utilize additional technologies within the Project Area, for example:
    • AIS systems on the wind turbines to aid mariners transiting in the area.
    • Weather and sea condition monitoring devices.
    • Expanded communication networks within the wind farm
What happens to the project when it’s time to retire?
  • Atlantic Shores’ joint venture partners - EDF Renewables and Shell - each have a longstanding history operating and providing energy responsibly in the United States.
  • BOEM requires all projects to be removed at the end of their lifespan unless otherwise authorized. Atlantic Shores’ obligation is to post financial security to cover this cost over the time and terms of our Lease.
What about job opportunities?
  • Atlantic Shores is committed to hire locally whenever possible. This a top priority for our company.
  • Atlantic Shores is already employing local fishermen and their facilities for scouting and dock-side vessel support. We are also actively looking to expand these opportunities with local fishermen and businesses. In September 2020, Atlantic Shores distributed a formal Request for Information to identify fishing businesses that had available docks and port real estate that could be shared by Atlantic Shores and support our construction and operations efforts. If you are interested in this opportunity, please reach out to our FLO Captain Kevin Wark.
Where and when can the public provide input?
  • Public input is an important part of the federal offshore wind process. The government solicits public input in the Lease Area selection process and the review of federal offshore wind projects in review under the National Environmental Policy Act.  Opportunities to provide input into the government’s process are identified here - https://www.awea.org/Awea/media/Resources/Fact%20Sheets/AWEA_Engagement-Process-FINAL_1-24.pdf.
  • Fishing community input is important to Atlantic Shores. Input is always welcomed and fishermen can directly reach out to our FLO Captain Kevin Wark (kevinwark@comcast.net) and our Recreational Fisheries Representative Captain Adam Nowalsky (captadamnj@gmail.com).  Input from the fishing community has and will continue to inform project design.  We are also soliciting fishing community input and participation in the design and implementation of our fisheries baseline and pre-construction surveys.  Atlantic Shores will continue to hold listening sessions as our project advances.  Captains Wark and Nowalsky will communicate the times and locations of these sessions to fishermen and we will post the information on our website and newsletters.
How will we understand the effects on fish and habitat?
  • Protection of ocean resources and co-existence of offshore wind and ocean users are top priorities for Atlantic Shores.  We recognize the many and different uses of the waters in and around the Lease Area by various stakeholders.  We intend to and are engaging with each of these stakeholders to listen and learn about concerns and how we can work together to co-exist.
  • Recreational Fishing: New Jersey has a strong history in recreational fishing. Atlantic Shores respects this history and reliance on the artificial reefs established off the New Jersey coast.  Our project turbines and cables will not impact or alter any designated, mapped artificial reefs or other structures, e.g. shipwrecks, in state or federal waters.
    • Fishermen have expressed specific concern of the Atlantic Shores Project Area impacts to the Atlantic City Reef. This Reef is adjacent to the Lease Area and no project equipment – cables or turbines – will be placed inside or on the Atlantic City Reef.
  • Commercial Fishing: New Jersey has a strong history in commercial fishing, particularly the harvesting of shellfish. Atlantic Shores respects this livelihood and reliability on resources off the coast of New Jersey.  We are working closely with the surfclam/quahog industry to understand commercial fishing vessel patterns and transit in and around the Lease Area to inform project planning and siting.
    • Atlantic Shores is working with Rutgers University, the State of New Jersey, and the surfclam commercial fishermen to study, model, and predict trends in surfclams in the Lease Area over the lifetime of the project (25 – 30 years). This modeling effort will help to inform how we establish baseline and pre-construction monitoring plans for commercial fisheries.
  • Diving Community: Atlantic Shores recognizes that there is an active New Jersey diving community that enjoy New Jersey’s artificial reefs. We will not restrict recreational diving in the Project Area once our wind turbines are constructed.  Our Operations and Maintenance team will coordinate with the diving community to ensure the diver safety for those that want to dive turbine foundations.
Will the project affect existing artificial reefs?

The Lease Area and export cable routes are planned to avoid state and federal artificial reefs. These designated artificial reefs will also be avoided during construction and maintenance of the project. If new federal and/or state artificial reef locations are established, these will also be included in our project design planning and avoided.

Can Atlantic Shores create new artificial reefs outside of the Project Area to offset fish habitat?

The state of New Jersey has an intensive program to construct and monitor artificial reefs in waters along the coast. Atlantic Shores will coordinate with New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Bureau of Marine Fisheries to investigate if there are opportunities to create new artificial reefs for enhancing fish habitat near our Project Area.

Can certain types of scour protection be used to create artificial reefs?

Scour protection materials used at the base of our wind turbine foundations could result in reef effects to surrounding fish and fisheries – this phenomenon has been observed around Europe and U.S. offshore wind turbines and many other infrastructure types located in federal waters. To understand reef effects that may occur in and around our foundations, Atlantic Shores is working with Stockton University to examine how offshore wind materials and structure types may influence New Jersey recreational fisheries. Based on fishermen’s input during the listening sessions, we plan to extend this work to investigate how reef effects could differ or be similar to existing artificial reefs outside the Project Area and which materials could be most suitable for supporting long-lasting artificial reefs in our Project Area.  If you are interested in this topic, please reach out to Captains Wark and Nowalsky.

Will Atlantic Shores offshore wind project impact the Mid-Atlantic Cold Pool?
  • The Mid-Atlantic Cold Pool (Cold Pool) is an important phenomenon to the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) region. The seasonality in the MAB and the formation of the Cold Pool affects the structure of the region’s food web. Atlantic Shores is taking proactive steps to collaborate with researchers at Rutgers to model and study effects of a utility-scale offshore wind project on the Cold Pool. In addition to our work with Rutgers, we are founding members and active funders of the Responsible Offshore Science Alliance (ROSA). This Alliance is also supporting regional efforts to identify potential areas of further study on the Mid-Atlantic Bight.
    • Atlantic Shores is aware of the recent report issued by the Science Center for Marine Fisheries and authored by Rutgers University. We continue to work with Rutgers to support research that can help to reduce uncertainty on the nature and scale of interactions between offshore wind, oceanographic processes, and biological systems in the Mid-Atlantic.  We would encourage fishermen and researchers to reach out to us with research and monitoring topics that we can consider adding to our research portfolio as the project advances.
How does EMF impact marine species? How will Atlantic Shores minimize impacts from EMF?
  • Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) are physical fields of electric and magnetic components generated by electrically charged objects. Offshore wind turbines generate electricity and this electricity is transferred to power grids by transmission cables.
  • To reduce EMF specifically generated from our project, Atlantic Shores will use insulated and armored cables, and bury subsea cables at a target depth of 6 ft. Over the lifetime of the project, Atlantic Shores will monitor the cables to ensure they remain buried at target depth.
  • Atlantic Shores recognizes community concerns surrounding EMF and marine life. Research does indicate that marine organisms, including elasmobranchs (sharks, skates), some fish (eels, sturgeons), sea turtles and benthic invertebrates are electrically sensitive. Current research and monitoring at U.S. offshore wind sites show that EMF levels generated are low and safe to marine life and their navigation, orientation, movement, migration, and feeding (foraging, predation) behaviors. Scientific literature on the impacts of offshore wind generated EMFs on marine life can be found here Department of Energy TETHYS.
How will Atlantic Shores Project affect fish patterns?

Government and academic studies in the U.S. and Europe show that reef effects can occur on offshore wind platforms and such effects can change the abundance, distribution, and diversity of fish species, even enhancing ocean habits and fish communities.  The influence of turbines and scour materials as reefs will depend on a number of factors, from trends in migratory fish movements, climate trends on distribution of fish, to type of scour materials used around offshore wind foundations.  Atlantic Shores is working with government agencies, ROSA, and research institutions, such as Stockton University, to initiate and fund research that will help to answer these questions.

Data from Europe shows negative impacts to flounder and other flatfish species. How is Atlantic Shores going to mitigate this?

Changes in flatfish distribution and abundance depend on where the studies were conducted in Europe. Studies at U.S. wind projects show that flatfish were not affected by offshore wind construction or operation and that abundances were not impacted by pile-driving or cable-laying activities (study found here). Wind construction and operations were also shown not to be associated with flatfish variability in the area.  Observing flatfish in our Project Area will be part of Atlantic Shores fisheries baseline, construction and operations monitoring programs.

How will echo-sounding (bathymetric surveys) impact fish?

Atlantic Shores is conducting geophysical surveys with multi-beam echosounders to map the seafloor in our Project Area. This specific equipment is used by government, universities, and mariners to map and monitor changes to the seafloor and habitats over time, to support navigational safety and port operations, and to monitor offshore equipment, including submarine cables. Atlantic Shores will continue this survey method to monitor our Project Area.  Studies and fieldwork using this equipment to study fish and their habitats, have shown that the sound produced by this equipment has not resulted in mortality or injury to fish.  More information can be found here: https://dosits.org/people-and-sound/investigate-marine-animals/active-acoustics-fisheries/

Will recreational fishermen be allowed to fish in the Project Area?

As stated above, Atlantic Shores will not restrict fishing in the Lease Area or around our Project Area once turbines are constructed.  If fact, we hope that the recreational fishing community will benefit from the turbine structures in our Project Area.  We do understand that there may be some short-term disruptions to activities during the construction period.  We look forward to continued engagement and information exchange with fishing community so that we can minimize any temporary impacts to fishing in our Project Area.

How will transit be considered in the Project Area?

Atlantic Shores is analyzing all types of vessels transiting the Project Area, from pleasure and fishing vessels to cargo vessels and everything between. Based on reviews of vessel transit data, wind turbine rows are planned in an orientation supporting the predominant direction of transit. Wind turbines in the Project Area will be aligned in uniform grid meaning the same distance between turbine rows and then the same distance between turbines along each row.  This provides navigation certainty in all directions within the Project Area.

Is Atlantic Shores funding regional science to study impacts to fisheries and fishermen?
  • Atlantic Shores is a founding member of the Responsible Offshore Science Alliance (ROSA), formed to fund research, build communication, and enhance regional collaboration and cooperative science on offshore wind development and fisheries. ROSA’s work includes topics important to the recreational fishing community.  Atlantic Shores views ROSA as the means for cooperative science between developers and fishermen. We would encourage recreational fishermen to join us to use ROSA to fill research and data gaps and reduce uncertainty in how U.S. offshore wind will affect Atlantic fisheries.
  • Atlantic Shores is also investigating opportunities to study highly migratory pelagic species in the Mid-Atlantic by participating in acoustic fish tagging research.  We also intend to use our LiDAR oceanographic buoy and turbine foundations as platforms-of-opportunity for sensors such as acoustic receivers that can help track tagged HMS and other species, such as sea turtles, in the Lease Area.
  • Fishermen input and on-the-water experience is critical to informing our fisheries surveys and research.  Atlantic Shores FLO Captain Wark and Recreational Fisheries Representative Captain Nowalsky and our staff scientists, who have experience working with fishermen to conduct cooperative research, are working to ensure the data we collect is informed by fishermen’s knowledge and experience.
Will Atlantic Shores share monitoring data and research?
  • We are currently sharing meteorological and oceanographic data from our offshore LiDAR buoy on our ‘For Mariners’ page and on the MARACOOS OceansMap. Atlantic Shores fully anticipates maintaining this level of data sharing over the lifetime of our project.
  • Atlantic Shores is committed to sharing environmental data collected during baseline studies and pre-construction monitoring and are working with ROSA to integrate our monitoring data across the region.
  • Data collected per the requirements of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, such as geophysical seafloor site characterization, will be made available to the public when Atlantic Shores Construction and Operations Plan (COP) starts the formal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review initiated by BOEM. We anticipate our COP being posted prior to the end of 2021. You can track the progress of that process here.
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