A county in New Jersey voted unanimously to oppose an offshore wind farm proposed for its coastline, citing the project’s negative impacts on the environment, tourism industry and beach vistas.
In a 4-0 vote this week, the Cape May County, New Jersey, Board of Commissioners passed a resolution green-lighting reasonable use of all the county’s resources to oppose the wind projects developed by Danish multinational energy company Orsted. The county is also considering legal options and appealed a state public utility permit it says would transfer “real property interests” from residents to Orsted.
“At first, the County of Cape May was interested in trying to work with Orsted to find a way forward, perhaps with some modifications to the project to reduce visual, environmental and economic impacts,” Cape May County Board of Commissioners Director Len Desiderio said in a statement.
“We would like to see land-based offshore wind facilities and supply chain infrastructure built here in New Jersey, since that would create good opportunities for trade workers and others,” Desiderio continued. “But we cannot sit quietly by as hundreds of windmills are installed off our beaches as state and federal government agencies ignore our legitimate and serious concerns.”
The resolution particularly targets Orsted’s Ocean Wind 1 and Ocean Wind 2 projects, which together, would consist of nearly 200 wind turbines across 161,000 acres in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape May County. According to the county, the turbines would be as close as nine miles from its coastline and would be visible from every beach in the county.
The project would also have two transmission line corridors with one substation in Cape May County.
According to the resolution, Cape May County officials have engaged with Orsted since 2021, but the negotiations ultimately fell through after the company turned to state and federal officials who were supportive of the development.