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State of New Jersey Energy Master Plan

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Offshore Wind

 

Contents

NJBPU Announces the Winner of New Jersey's First Offshore Wind Solicitation

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is pleased to announce the winner of New Jersey’s first offshore wind solicitation: Ørsted’s Ocean Wind. This 1,100 megawatt (MW) solicitation is the largest single-state procurement of offshore wind electricity generation capacity in the U.S. to date.

“Today’s historic announcement will revolutionize the offshore wind industry here in New Jersey and along the entire East Coast,” said Governor Murphy. “Building our offshore wind industry will create thousands of jobs, invite new investments into our state, and put us on a path to reaching our goal of 3,500 MW of offshore wind by 2030. This award is a monumental step in making New Jersey a global leader in offshore wind development and deployment.” 

“Thanks to Governor Murphy’s leadership and his trust in the NJBPU to deliver upon the important promise of offshore wind, today we have taken another important step forward into our 100 percent clean energy future,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “With today’s award of 1,100 MW of offshore wind, a safer, healthier future for New Jersey is looking brighter and closer than ever.”

More information about this historic award can be found by viewing the Board Order here.

A press release regarding this award can be viewed here.

New Jersey's Offshore Wind Goal: 3,500 MW by 2030

In January 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 8 directing the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) to fully implement the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA).

On September 20, 2018, the Board unanimously approved a solicitation seeking the initial 1,100 MW of offshore wind capacity for New Jersey. NJBPU received proposals from three bidders in response to this solicitation. On June 21, 2019, after a rigorous and thorough review, the Board awarded Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificates (ORECs) to Ørsted’s Ocean Wind 1,100 MW project. The award of OREC subsidies—New Jersey’s first—is a significant step toward meeting the state's goal of 3,500 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. 

Governor Murphy also called on NJBPU to open two additional 1,200 MW offshore wind solicitations—in 2020 and 2022—in order to reach New Jersey’s goal of 3,500 MW by 2030. The offshore wind goal plays a critical role in realizing Governor Murphy’s vision of powering New Jersey with a 100% clean energy by 2050.

Why Offshore Wind?

With nearly 9 million residents packed into less than 9,000 square miles, New Jersey is the most densely-populated state in America. This creates land usage constraints and, when combined with other factors, can make constructing new power plants and associated electrical grid infrastructure quite challenging.

Thankfully, New Jersey has 130 miles of coastline that boasts strong and consistent winds. This renewable resource can be harnessed to generate clean, carbon-free electricity for the grid. Moreover, anchoring the offshore wind supply chain in New Jersey has the potential to create thousands of jobs and generate additional in-state economic opportunities. 

What is the Federal Government's Role in New Jersey's Offshore Wind Industry?

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, within the Department of the Interior, initiates the American offshore wind leasing process by identifying Wind Energy Areas in federally-owned waters, which include all offshore areas that are between 3 and 200 miles from the U.S. coast.

After public involvement and environmental assessments, smaller sections of these Wind Energy Areas are designated as lease areas. The lease areas are then auctioned to offshore wind developers who further investigate the areas for project suitability. This information, along with other environmental, atmospheric, and marine resource data, helps offshore wind developers determine which type of turbine and how many to install, as well as where within the lease area they should be placed..

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's federal process for offshore wind development.

What is the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities' Role?

Offshore wind developers are required to secure leasehold rights to offshore lease areas from the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The developers must then—in a separate, state-specific process—secure subsidies to build offshore wind. NJBPU is tasked with soliciting bids for offshore wind generation projects, evaluating the received proposals, and awarding subsidies (called Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificates, or ORECs) to winning offshore wind bidder(s).

In order to receive ORECs, qualifying applicants must demonstrate that the construction of an offshore wind facility will bring net positive economic benefits to New Jersey. Unlike some other states, NJBPU is focused not only on prioritizing the lowest costs, but also providing the best value for New Jersey ratepayers.

With its June 21, 2019 decision, NJBPU placed the winning offshore wind bidder in a position to qualify for federal investment tax credits that are set to expire at the end of 2019. These tax credits could save developers approximately 12% of the total project cost, ultimately passing the savings on to New Jersey ratepayers.

New Jersey's Offshore Wind Strategic Plan

New Jersey is also developing its Offshore Wind Strategic Plan (OWSP), which will serve as a roadmap for progressing from the initial 1,100 MW to 3,500 MW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2030. The goal of the OWSP is to ensure competition, competitive pricing, net economic benefits, and the overall best value for New Jersey ratepayers. To do this, the OWSP focuses on (1) commercial and recreational fisheries; (2) environmental protection; (3) supply chain and workforce development; (4) ports and harbors; (5) wholesale energy markets; and (6) transmission.

NJBPU is developing the OWSP with the support of a multi-disciplinary consultant team. A draft OWSP will be released for public comment soon, with a final OWSP targeted for release before the end of 2019.

Offshore Wind Interagency Task Force

At the direction of Executive Order No. 8, NJBPU convened and leads the New Jersey Offshore Wind Interagency Taskforce (IATF). The IATF facilitates interagency communication and coordination on offshore wind, and is comprised of the following agencies:
•    Office of the Governor
•    New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (lead agency)
•    New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
•    New Jersey Economic Development Authority
•    New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
•    Department of the Treasury

Stakeholder Engagement Plan

The development of the OWSP is supported by a comprehensive stakeholder process, which facilitates public involvement and engagement to achieve NJBPU’s goal of broad-based and effective stakeholder outreach and participation in the OWSP process, as well as New Jersey’s offshore wind program in general.

Meet Captain Kevin Wark
Captain Kevin Wark of Barnegat Light, NJ, serves as the liaison between the IATF and New Jersey’s commercial and recreational fishing communities— who are critical offshore wind stakeholders. Captain Wark helps solicit input, provides important guidance and information, and facilitates communications and meetings between these groups.

Captain Wark is the owner and operator of the gillnetter “Endeavor” fishing vessel. Depending on the season and market demand, he targets weakfish, bluefish, monkfish, or shad.  When he's not fishing, Captain Wark acts as an industry advisor to the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils, the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council, and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Captain Wark became active in fisheries management because he realized how important informed and equitable regulations are to the future of commercial fishing.

Your Input is Valuable

NJBPU is committed to engaging with the public and stakeholders on the OWSP and offshore wind development as outlined in the Stakeholder Engagement Plan. Please consider attending a stakeholder meeting or submitting comments to NJBPU at Offshore.Wind@bpu.nj.gov. Presentations and information from past events can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does offshore wind energy work? from the U.S. Department of Energy

What is the Offshore Wind Supply Chain? Animated Infographic from the European Wind Energy Association

Top 10 things you didn’t know about offshore wind energy from the U.S. Department of Energy

Wind Turbines in Extreme Weather: Solutions for Hurricane Resiliency from the U.S. Department of Energy

Get Connected

Stay up-to-date on NJBPU news here, and follow @NJCleanEnergy on Facebook and Twitter and @NJBPU on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

1,100 MW Offshore Wind Solicitation and Guidance

Information related to NJBPU’s initial 1,100 MW solicitation for offshore wind energy capacity can be found here.

Archives

Historical Information can be found here.

 

 


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