Offshore Wind, Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF),
Health and Ecological Impact Assessments, Infrastructure
Wind Development on the Horizon
The Biden administration announced last week that it is setting aggressive development targets for offshore wind, with a goal to produce 30 gigawatts by the end of 2030, enough power to meet the demands of more than 10 million American homes. The proposal includes opening a new priority wind energy area of 800,000 acres in the New York Bight – shallow coastal waters between Long Island and New Jersey – with lease sales anticipated as early as the end of this year. In addition, the Biden administration announced significant investment in port infrastructure to support offshore wind development, research funding to study potential offshore wind environmental impacts, and a data-sharing partnership between the developer Ørsted and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In support of the Biden administration announcement, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) stated that it intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a 1,100 megawatt project off the coast of New Jersey.
The Biden administration announcement is expected to add additional momentum to a surging offshore wind industry. Offshore wind development projects are typically large and complex, requiring rigorous technical evaluation of potential environmental and human health impacts for both the offshore and onshore components. Given the high visibility of these projects and the involvement of many stakeholders, effective communication of the scientific issues is crucial.
Gradient has been involved with offshore wind development projects for over four years. We have significant project expertise in several technical areas associated with offshore wind development projects, including:
More than 20 years of experience in evaluating electric and magnetic field (EMF) exposure and effects as part of project permitting for complex transmission line projects in a number of states, including Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Vermont.
Modeling exposure and evaluating potential EMF impacts on human health and marine organisms for several offshore wind power projects along the East Coast.