State anticipates awarding additional New Jersey offshore wind capacity up to 2,400 MW in 2021


NJBPU receives bids to expand New Jersey’s leading offshore wind industry. (Credit: Maximilian Kaiser from Pixabay)

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) today announced it has received applications from two developers for the State’s second solicitation for offshore wind capacity, which the Board opened in September. This solicitation seeks to award 1,200 MW to 2,400 MW of offshore wind energy, potentially tripling the State’s committed 1,100 MW of capacity. This represents a significant milestone toward achieving Governor Phil Murphy’s goal of 7,500 MW of offshore wind energy in New Jersey by 2035, which will create thousands of jobs and power millions of homes with clean, renewable energy.

“New Jersey’s growing offshore wind industry will create a welcome economic boon as we continue our state’s recovery from COVID-19,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Developing our offshore wind capabilities allows New Jersey to build back smarter and stronger, with sustainability and equity at the forefront. As New Jersey continues to move forward as a national offshore wind leader, we look forward to welcoming a diverse group into this new industry. Expanding our offshore wind industry not only reinforces our commitment to achieving 100 percent clean energy by 2050, but it will also create thousands of jobs that will deliver massive economic growth and put New Jerseyans back to work at one of the most critical moments in history.”

“Offshore wind has always been a centerpiece of the Murphy Administration’s clean energy ambitions and is even more important now as we face an economic recovery from this devastating pandemic,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “New Jersey is all-in on wind, and as we expand our robust offshore wind program, we need all the lease space we can get in the profitable waters just off New Jersey’s coast. We look forward to working with the incoming Biden Administration to accomplish this.”

NJBPU received bids on December 10 from Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind and Ørsted. NJBPU Staff will review the applications with its consultant Levitan and Associates, and the Board anticipates awarding the resulting offshore wind project or projects in June 2021. In 2022 the Board will vote to open a third solicitation for offshore wind of at least 1,200 MW, to continue delivering on Governor Murphy’s forward-looking solicitation schedule.

A key component of this solicitation is a requirement that the selected Applicant(s) are to provide $10,000 per MW to the State for research initiatives and the regional monitoring of wildlife and fisheries related to the introduction of offshore wind projects. The funding will be administered by NJBPU and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), with stakeholder input to aid in the identification and prioritization of regional research and monitoring needs.

In September, the Board approved the New Jersey Offshore Wind Strategic Plan, a roadmap for building 7,500 MW of offshore wind energy by 2035 and establishing an offshore wind industry that gives New Jersey residents the best overall value while protecting the environment and commercial and recreational fishing interests.

In 2019, New Jersey made history by awarding the largest single offshore wind solicitation in the country to Ørsted’s 1,100 MW Ocean Wind project to be built 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City. That project is slated to be operational by 2024. Last month New Jersey became the first state to align its transmission planning process with its regional grid operator, to identify the most efficient ways to bring 7.5 GW of renewable energy ashore. The State is also currently seeking a Construction Manager for the New Jersey Wind Port in Salem County that will create up to 1,500 jobs and $500 million in new annual economic activity. The WIND Institute will serve as the State’s hub for education, research, innovation, and training to develop the workforce that will build out the region’s offshore wind industry.

Source: Company Press Release