Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind LLC has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Rutgers University to advance ocean research and monitoring that will support offshore wind development in a five-year agreement.
The partnership will start this summer to bolster efforts at the Rutgers Center for Ocean Observing Leadership (RUCOOL).
Atlantic Shores and RUCOOL will focus on advancing innovative approaches to collecting and analyzing meteorological, oceanographic and marine bio-acoustic data. The work will build upon efforts RUCOOL is already undertaking in partnership with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
Data collected from both inside and outside the Atlantic Shores lease area will not only support Atlantic Shores’ commitment to ground its development decisions upon sound scientific research, but also contribute to the broader regional knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic marine environment, the company said.
“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.”
Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind is a 50/50 joint venture between EDF Renewables North America and Shell New Energies US.
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 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.