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US regulators' approval allows Ørsted's Ocean Wind project to move forward

On the same day Ørsted A/S opened its second U.S. office in Atlantic City, N.J., the Danish wind developer moved one step closer to building its 1,000-MW Ocean Offshore Wind Farm in New Jersey waters.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approved Ørsted's site assessment plan for its offshore wind project on May 17, according to a letter addressed to Ørsted North America President Thomas Brostrøm. The approval means Ørsted can install buoys in its lease area to survey the site before moving to the last stage of the federal wind energy commercial leasing process, where the developer creates a construction and operations plan to submit to the bureau.

Ørsted has five years to complete its site assessment and submit a construction and operations plan before the company can begin building the project. Ørsted did not respond to a request for comment, but Brostrøm told the Press of Atlantic City (N.J.) on May 17 that its activity in New Jersey and in Massachusetts, where it is building the Bay State Offshore Wind project, means he and his team "are starting to ramp up here."

"We are hopeful to see a wind farm going up in the early 2020s," he said during the company's May 17 grand opening of its New Jersey office. "I know it's still a long time, but it takes a couple more years to get all through the permitting. We can build a wind farm in one to two years ... that's not the problem. It's getting through to that part where you can start actual construction."

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order earlier in 2018 to procure 3,500 MW of offshore wind generation by 2030.