December 20 (Renewables Now) - EDF Renewables North America has set up a 50/50 joint venture (JV) with a unit of oil and gas major Royal Dutch Shell Plc (AMS:RDSA), aiming to co-develop an offshore wind lease area in New Jersey.
The specific zone covers 183,353 acres, located about 8 miles (12.9km) off the coast of Atlantic City on the US Outer Continental Shelf. According to a joint statement by the two companies released on Wednesday, the area can accommodate about 2.5 GW of offshore wind turbines with an expected output that will be enough for nearly one million homes.
Called Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind LLC, the JV between EDF Renewables and Shell New Energies US LLC, will carry out a site assessment of the lease area and start developing the project once a positive final investment decision has been taken. The planned wind farm could begin operations by the mid-2020s.
“As the costs of offshore wind are declining, the U.S. offshore wind industry is quickly advancing with strong Federal and State support,” said Tristan Grimbert, president and CEO of EDF Renewables North America.
EDF Renewables has 2.8 GW of offshore wind in development or operation in Europe, while Shell has stakes in onshore wind projects in North America and has one operational offshore wind farm in Europe. The partners said the JV deal is subject to regulatory approvals.
The announcement comes after the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) approved the adoption of a funding mechanism for the state’s offshore wind programme, which targets 3.5 GW by 2030. The Board, however, also rejected the up to 25-MW Nautilus pilot offshore wind project in state waters.
Earlier this week, Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, a 50/50 JV between EDPR Offshore North America LLC and Shell New Energies US LLC, emerged as one of the winners in Massachusetts' latest offshore wind auction, securing an area which could accommodate 1.6 GW of capacity.