Closed nuclear power plant, Oyster Creek, will be used to distribute offshore wind power

David Madden
September 21, 2019 - 5:54 pm

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey wants to take the lead in providing offshore wind based electricity. State utility regulators have approved a plan that could pave the way for just that. 

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved a bid by Denmark-based Orsted, which is planning to build an 1100 megawatt wind farm 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City, to use the closed Oyster Creek nuclear plant as a means to connect into the regional power grid.

“One of the critical components we think about is plugging the wind farm into shore,” Kris Ohleth, an official in charge of the Ocean Wind project, told KYW Newsradio, “and we like to do that in parts of the grid that are already hardened and already have existing electrical infrastructure.”

The plant will handle 800 megawatts. They'll need at least one more hookup point, and they're looking at two possible sites. One is in Atlantic City, and the other is just west of Ocean City.  

So what will this mean to consumers?

“This really paves the way for potential cost savings in terms of the overall project,” Ohleth added. “Those things are still being determined in terms of the exact numbers but this is a very positive development in terms of potential costs to the project and ratepayer.”

But consumers could be responsible for part of that bill down the line.

Additional state and federal environmental permits will be required before the farm goes online, which is expected in 2024.

Orsted is also looking for local businesses to help in developing a supply chain for the plant. They've set up a registry for companies to get involved in the project. That can be done through the project’s website.