Survey work is beginning for the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind LLC project off New Jersey, according to a new Notice to Mariners from the developers.

In December the company, a 50/50 partnership between Shell New Energies US LLC and EDF Renewables North America, submitted a proposal to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to supply up to 2,300 megawatts of wind energy. It’s the second solicitation by state officials, following Ørsted’s winning bid for 1,100 MW from its planned Ocean Wind project.

Atlantic Shores says its 180,000-acre federal lease 10 to 20 miles offshore from east of Barnegat Light, N.J., south to Atlantic City, is one of the nation’s largest, and could be the site of a completed turbine array as early as 2027.

The 170-foot survey vessel Fugro Enterprise started work Friday, March 19 within the lease area and along potential export cable routes that would carry power to landfall sites near Atlantic City and Manasquan, N.J.

The Fugro Enterrpise began survey work March 19, 2021 on the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind lease off New Jersey. Fugro photo.

Continuing survey work in support of the bid process will run 24/7 until August but may run longer depending on weather and operational conditions. Because the vessels are restricted in maneuverability, the developers are advising commercial and recreational fishermen to maintain distance of at least one nautical mile.

“A Notice to Mariners will be issued prior to operations and vessels will monitor and broadcast on VHF Channel 16 during operations,” according to the notice. The company says its vessels can be tracked online in real time at www.atlanticshoreswind.com/mariners

The notice includes a preliminary schedule for work by particular vessels:

- Tidewater Regulus (call sign WDG8927), starting April 15. The 270-foot multiservice offshore support vessel will conduct geotechnical borings and seabed piezocone penetration tests (PCPTs) in the Atlantic Shores lease area for soil characterization.

- Alpine Shearwater (call sign WDF5838), starting May 15. The 110-foot vessel will conduct geotechnical vibracores along potential export cable routes for soil characterization.

- Northstar Commander (call sign WDG5396), June 1. The 240-foot vessel will conduct seabed PCPTs along potential export cable routes and in the lease area for soil characterization.

- Laredo Brazos (call sign WDG9589), June 14. The three-legged 230-foot liftboat will perform geotechnical boreholes for the potential export cable route landfall areas.

The 230' liftboat Laredo Brazos will perform geotechinical boreholes off the New Jersey coast in June 2021 for potential export cable route land fall areas connecting the Atlantic Shores offshore wind project.Laredo Offshore Services photo.

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for more than 30 years and a 25-year field editor for National Fisherman before joining our Commercial Marine editorial staff in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

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