ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — It’s not the Yellow Submarine, but the bright yellow device setting sail from Atlantic City could help New Jersey’s plan to harness the energy of the ocean wind by staying on top of the waves.
Orsted, a Danish wind energy company, is launching a research buoy to measure wind, wave and weather conditions at a site 10 miles off Atlantic City where it envisions a bunch of wind turbines.
The project is still in its early stages, and needs state and federal approvals. But at a press conference Monday to display the buoy, company and New Jersey officials said the wind farm project could help meet Gov. Phil Murphy’s goal of having 3,500 megawatts of wind energy operating by 2030.
“The winds of change have come to Atlantic City,” said state Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, a Democrat representing the area.
New Jersey wants 1,100 megawatts initially, which could power more than a half-million homes, according to Jens Graugaard, Orsted’s project manager.
How many turbines get built depends on how much electricity the state commits to buying.
“This is another important milestone for the project that will bring us closer to having the first utility-scale offshore wind farm in New Jersey,” said Thomas Brostrom, president of Orsted North America.
The buoy cost more than $1 million, according to Axys Technologies, Inc., the Canadian firm that built it.
It is equipped with sensors to provide data on wind speed and direction, water turbulence, ocean currents and tides, water salinity and temperature, atmospheric pressure and air temperature, all of which will be evaluated to see if the projected site is suitable for wind turbines.
The buoy is powered by its own renewable energy system including wind turbines and solar panels. It will be moored to the ocean floor.
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