At 7:28 p.m. Halloween evening, Oct. 31, the Danish wind farm developer Ørsted issued a press release announcing its withdrawal from both of the Ocean Wind I and II projects for wind farms off the coast of Atlantic and Cape May counties.
Citing “macroeconomic factors that have changed dramatically over a short period of time,” the wind energy company said it had no choice but to cease development of the two South Jersey projects. Ørsted blamed high interest rates, inflation and supply chain bottlenecks for the decision by its board of directors.
Cape May County officials took a different view, issuing a statement and establishing a news conference for Wednesday, Nov. 1.
The county release states that resistance by the county and its municipalities played a significant role in Ørsted’s decision to abandon the South Jersey wind farms while continuing with projects in other Atlantic Coast lease areas.
The county release quotes an Oct. 31 conference call with Ørsted investors in which CEO Mads Nipper said, “Ørsted has updated its view on certain assumptions including tax credit monetization and the timing and likelihood of final construction permits.” The county states that the final straw for Ørsted came with the filing of a lawsuit challenging federal permits issued for the development of Ocean Wind I.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.