New Jersey moves ahead on offshore wind plan

Source: By MICHELLE BRUNETTI POST Staff Writer, Press of Atlantic City • Posted: Saturday, July 7, 2018

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities chose a firm Friday to help it create an Offshore Wind Strategic Plan, but will not announce the name of the firm until the Department of Treasury issues a contract, a spokesman said.

The BPU will hold a public hearing 10 a.m. July 19 near Trenton on its plans to quickly solicit 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind capacity.

The board called the strategic plan “a chief component of Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 8, which sets a goal of providing 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030,” in a news release.

Murphy’s executive order committed the state to quickly generate 1,100 megawatts annually of offshore wind energy, and 3,500 megawatts of generation by the year 2030 — enough to power 1.5 million homes.

It also directed the BPU to begin a rule-making process and to work with the state Department of Environmental Protection to establish the strategic plan.

The BPU also must implement a renewable energy credit program, through which ratepayers will fund the development of wind power. And it must quickly solicit for projects to generate 1,100 megawatts of electric power.

Orsted North America holds a lease to develop Ocean Wind, a project with the potential to generate 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind about 10 miles off Atlantic City. It is on track to open between 2020 and 2025 once renewable energy credits are in place.

A second major wind development off New Jersey is planned for 183,353 acres leased by U.S. Wind Inc.

In addition, a small, 24-megawatt offshore wind project proposed by Fishermen’s Energy may also be built.

 A few years ago it failed to meet federal government deadlines to get funding, and its cost of providing energy was deemed too high by New Jersey officials.

But recently Murphy signed a bill into law directing the BPU to allow Fishermen’s Energy to reapply for ratepayer financing.

The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. July 19 at Mercer County Community College, Conference Center at Mercer Auditorium, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor.

Written comments can also be submitted to: Aida Camacho, Secretary, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, 44 South Clinton Ave., 3rd Floor, Suite 314, CN 350, Trenton, NJ 08625; or submitted electronically to Rule.Comments@bpu.nj.gov in PDF or Word Format. All comments must be received on or before 5 p.m. July 26.