Atlantic Shores has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Rutgers University to advance ocean research and monitoring that will support offshore wind development.
The 5-year cooperative agreement term will initiate this summer and help to bolster on-going efforts at the Rutgers Center for Ocean Observing Leadership (RUCOOL).
Together, Atlantic Shores and RUCOOL will focus on advancing innovative approaches to collecting and analyzing meteorological, oceanographic and marine bioacoustic data. The work will build upon efforts RUCOOL is already undertaking in partnership with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU).
Data collected from both inside and outside the Atlantic Shores lease area will not only support Atlantic Shores’ strong commitment to ground its development decisions upon sound scientific research, but also contribute to the broader regional knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic marine environment.
“Rutgers University is a leader in marine science research, and Atlantic Shores is committed to increasing data collection that will support the sustainability of the emerging offshore wind industry in New Jersey,” said Chris Hart, President and Managing Director of Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind. “We look forward to advancing their research efforts by collaborating early on as our Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind portfolio gets off the ground.”
“Rutgers is committed to leveraging its research capabilities, working with industry and state partners, and providing the best possible science to lead the nation in responsible offshore wind development,” said S. David Kimball, PhD, Interim Senior Vice President for Research and Economic Development at Rutgers. “The Jersey coast is a prime location for offshore wind development in our state’s pursuit of achieving 100 percent clean energy by 2050. We are happy to partner with Atlantic Shores to advance Rutgers research projects related to offshore wind and be at the forefront of a new industry that can have long-term economic benefits for New Jersey.”
“RUCOOL is excited to work with colleagues at Atlantic Shores to better understand the coastal ocean and atmospheric environment off the coast of New Jersey. These new studies will enhance and contribute to decades of ocean and atmospheric observations, modeling, and knowledge in the region as New Jersey works to become the world leader in offshore wind,” said Joseph F. Brodie, PhD, Director of Atmospheric Research at the Center for Ocean Observing Leadership.
Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind is a 50/50 joint venture between EDF Renewables North America and Shell New Energies US, LLC with an OREC application currently under consideration by the NJBPU.
The joint venture plans to build multiple projects over the next decade within their 183,000 acre lease area off the coast of New Jersey, to help the state meet its progressive goal of generating 3.5 GW of renewable energy by 2030. In total, Atlantic Shores’ lease area has the potential to generate 2.5 GW of clean wind energy, enough to power nearly one million homes.
A decision on which developer will be awarded a state contract to build the first offshore wind farm in New Jersey is expected this summer. Atlantic Shores plans to move forward with data collection and research in partnership with RUCOOL regardless of the outcome of the NJBPU decision.