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'Great day for whales,' Danish developer Orsted nixes wind farms off NJ coast amid stiff opposition

Beyond local opposition, Orsted cited suppluy

Published: November 1, 2023 2:02pm

Danish wind developer Orsted has canceled the development of two major wind farms of the New Jersey coast, citing interest-rate and supply-chain issues – and amid strong local opposition.

The two phases of the Ocean Wind project combined would have provided 2.2 gigawatts of electricity when the wind is blowing.

The project faced heavy local opposition over concerns it would impact whales, tourism and the area’s fishing industry.

Cape May County along with local tourism and fishing business groups filed a lawsuit earlier this month hoping to stop the project.

“This is a great day for the whales and dolphins. The massive, reckless experiment known as Ocean Wind One has been stopped and Ocean Wind Two abandoned,”county Commissioner Len Desiderio told Shore Local.

Conservation groups believe that offshore wind development is driving an increase in whale deaths along the East Coast.

In a statement, the company noted supply chain issues, increased interest rates, and New York’s decision not to adjust the company’s contract on another offshore wind project as reasons it needed to cease development of the Ocean Wind project.

“We are extremely disappointed to announce that we are ceasing the development of Ocean Wind 1 and 2. We firmly believe the US needs offshore wind to achieve its carbon emissions reduction ambition, and we remain committed to the US renewables market,” Orsted CEO Mads Nipper said.

The Associated Press reports that Orstead put up a $100 million guarantee that the wind farm will be operational by December 2025. With the project canceled, the company may forfeit the money.

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