Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind LLC – a 50/50 joint venture between Shell New Energies US LLC and EDF Renewables North America – has signed a memorandum of understanding with New Jersey-based Rutgers University to advance ocean research and monitoring in support of offshore wind development.
The five-year cooperative agreement, which will initiate this summer, will help bolster ongoing efforts at the Rutgers Center for Ocean Observing Leadership (RUCOOL). Together, Atlantic Shores and RUCOOL will focus on advancing approaches to collecting and analyzing meteorological, oceanographic and marine bioacoustic data. The work will build upon efforts RUCOOL is already undertaking in partnership with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU).
The Atlantic Shorts joint venture formed in December 2018 to co-develop a 183,353-acre lease area located approximately 8-20 miles off the New Jersey coast between Atlantic City and Barnegat Light.
Data collected from both inside and outside the Atlantic Shores lease area will support Atlantic Shores’ commitment to ground its development decisions upon sound scientific research, as well as contribute to the broader regional knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic marine environment, the company says.
“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,” comments 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.”
The developer has an application currently under consideration by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU). A decision on who 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.