Energy Central Professional


Upper Twp. plans for wind power landingUpper Township plans for wind power landing

BILL BARLOWStaff Writer  


    UPPER TOWNSHIP - The Township Committee on Monday is set to introduce an ordinance to amend its redevelopment plan for the former B.L. England plant site in Beesleys Point to include a substation to bring power generated by offshore wind turbines to the power grid.

    Township engineer Paul Dietrich reported on the amendment to the township Planning Board on Thursday. He said the township would get the changes to board members as soon as possible to allow for their review to be completed.

    The ordinance amendment would require a Planning Board review before it could move on to a public hearing and final vote.

    The Township Committee approved a designation of the former coal-fired power plant site as an area in need of redevelopment in early 2021. The township envisions a hotel and marina at the site, a sprawling area that includes wetlands, forests, a former golf course and the hulking mass of the former power plant, including a towering smokestack.

    Other development is possible. So far, new owners Beesleys Point Development Group LLC have not publicly presented their plans. In September, in a dramatic implosion, the new owners took down the old cooling tower at the site.

    Dietrich told the Planning Board the amendment to the redevelopment plan will include an area where power from the planned offshore wind turbines will be brought into the power grid.

    In a November presentation to residents, staff with the Ocean Wind 1 project described two buildings where the coal pile for the plant once stood.

    The buildings will be about 35 feet tall, surrounded by 80-foot lightning masts, according to Tom Patterson with Ocean Wind, one of the presenters at the November event.

    As proposed, and as outlined at the meeting, the lines will run under the beach in Ocean City at 35th Street, then be run underground across the island. Horizontal drilling will be used to bring the lines under the beach and under the channel separating Ocean City from Upper Township near the 34th Street bridge, under the plans offered Monday and discussed at other meetings.

    The plans have met resistance from Ocean City and many residents. Skepticism has only increased with a spate of dead humpback whales washing up on area beaches, and many officials and residents remain unconvinced by the assurance of federal officials that none of the offshore work underway this winter in preparation of wind power projects could have killed the whales.

    The Upper Township meeting is set to start at 4:30 p.m. Monday at Township Hall, 2100 Tuckahoe Road.

    Contact Bill Barlow:609-272-7290bbarlow@pressofac.comTwitter @jerseynews_bill


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