This Biological Assessment (BA) has been prepared pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to evaluate potential effects of the Ocean Wind 1 Offshore Wind Farm Project (Project, or Proposed Action) described herein on ESA-listed species under the jurisdiction of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (50 CFR 402.14). This BA provides a comprehensive description of the Proposed Action, defines the Action Area, describes species potentially impacted by the Proposed Action, and provides an analysis and determination of how the Proposed Action may affect listed species and/or their habitats. The activities being considered include all proposed federal actions associated with the construction, operations, and decommissioning of the proposed Project including approving the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) for the Ocean Wind 1 offshore wind energy facility on the OCS offshore of New Jersey. Effects on ESA-listed species under the oversight of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are analyzed under a separate BA document for consultation.
Ocean Wind LLC, an affiliate of Ørsted Wind Power North America LLC, (Ocean Wind, or the Applicant), has submitted the COP for the Ocean Wind 1 Offshore Wind Farm Area and offshore export cable corridors to BOEM for review and approval. Consistent with the requirements of 30 CFR 585.620 to 585.638, COP submittal occurs after BOEM grants a lease for the Proposed Action and the Applicant completes all studies and surveys defined in their site assessment plan (SAP). BOEM’s renewable energy development process is described in the following section.
The Project includes up to 98 wind turbine generators (WTGs, or turbines) with a total capacity of approximately 1,100 megawatts (MW), up to three offshore substations (OSSs), and a submarine transmission cable network connecting the WTGs (inter-array cables) to the OSS(s), all of which would be located in BOEM Renewable Energy Lease Area OCS-A 0498 (Lease Area), located within the New Jersey Wind Energy Area (NJ WEA). The Lease Area is located on the OCS approximately 15 miles (13 nautical miles [nm], 24.1 kilometers [km]) southeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey.