The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities today awarded projects that will provide a combined 2,658 megawatts of offshore wind capacity to EDF/Shell’s Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, off Long Beach Island, and Ørsted’s Ocean Wind II.
In a unanimous vote, the board awarded 1,510 MW of capacity to Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind and 1,148 MW to Ocean Wind II. The decision gives the Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind project, which skirts Long Beach Island from Barnegat Light south to Atlantic City, a major step forward and doubles the capacity for Ørsted’s Ocean Wind project off Atlantic City, already approved by the BPU for 99 turbines of wind energy.
If approved during the vetting process through the state Department of Environmental Protection, there is a potential for 300-plus offshore wind turbines on New Jersey’s continental shelf. In the Atlantic Shores project, turbines would be 10 miles off Barnegat Light and 9 miles off Holgate.
“Expanding New Jersey’s offshore wind industry is a major component of achieving our goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050, while providing significant opportunities and economic benefits for our state,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “By leveraging a whole-of-government approach and the strengths of our state, this award ensures that our investment in clean energy is also an investment in our communities, and will generate good-paying, union jobs and bring valuable investments to New Jersey. Today’s award, which is the nation’s largest combined award to date, further solidifies New Jersey as an offshore wind supply chain hub and leader in the offshore wind industry in the United States.”
Today’s decision brings the state’s total planned capacity to over 3,700 MW and moves New Jersey closer to Murphy’s goal of 7,500 MW of offshore wind by 2035 and 100 percent clean energy by 2050. Today’s award is the nation’s largest combined award to date.
According to the BPU, “Each project has committed to investing in New Jersey’s burgeoning offshore wind industry by building new manufacturing facilities at the New Jersey Wind Port, utilizing the foundation manufacturing facility at the Port of Paulsboro, creating tens of thousands of jobs, and injecting billions of dollars in economic benefits into the State.”
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to establish New Jersey as the epicenter of a new industry that will provide tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic benefits when we need it most,” said Joseph L. Fiordaliso, BPU president. “Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, we have made significant progress toward our goal of 7,500 MW of offshore wind by 2035 and will continue fighting for a clean energy future that benefits all New Jersey residents, improves public health, mitigates climate change, and bolsters our economy with sustainable, good-paying jobs.”
“It is an exciting time for clean energy in New Jersey thanks to Governor Murphy’s leadership,” said DEP Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “The responsible development of offshore wind will help New Jersey reduce the worsening effects of climate change while creating family-sustaining green jobs capable of lifting all people and communities across the Garden State.”
Combined, the two projects are estimated to create 7,000 full- and or part-time jobs across the development, construction and operational phases of the projects though some jobs will be short term. They will also generate $3.5 billion in economic benefits and power 1.15 million homes with clean energy. The solicitation also required the project developers to contribute $10,000 per MW to fund research initiatives and wildlife and fishery monitoring in the region – totaling $26 million – that will be administered by the BPU and DEP.
Each project also includes a commitment to build a nacelle assembly facility at the New Jersey Wind Port. The nacelle houses the components that convert the mechanical energy of the rotating blades into electrical energy. Atlantic Shores plans to partner with MHI Vestas for this facility while Ocean Wind will collaborate with GE. Both projects will utilize the foundation manufacturing facility at the Port of Paulsboro. Additional benefits to the region include a green hydrogen pilot facility from Atlantic Shores and a truck electrification pilot project at Port Newark from Ocean Wind.
The BPU is also engaged in a transmission solicitation managed by regional grid operator PJM Interconnection. The solicitation seeks options for a single transmission solution that can deliver offshore wind energy from the turbines to the existing grid.
In 2019, the BPU awarded a 1,100 MW project, enough to power half a million homes, to Ørsted’s Ocean Wind to be built 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City.
On track with the governor’s solicitation schedule, the board anticipates opening a third offshore wind solicitation for at least 1,200 MW in 2022.
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