New Jersey report details strides state has made in meeting wind energy goals

Source: By Dave Kovaleski, Energy Insider • Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2019

The report details the strides the state has made in the past year since Gov. Phil Murphy directed the NJBPU to fully implement the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA).

“We have gone from having no program on the day the Governor was inaugurated 55 weeks ago to developing a cutting-edge offshore wind program with a goal of 3,500 MW of offshore wind energy by 2030,” NJBPU President Joseph Fiordaliso said. “Offshore wind is a key aspect of the Governor’s clean energy initiatives as we put in place policies aimed at combatting the effects of climate change.”

In the past year, the BPU has established an Interagency Agency Taskforce on Offshore Wind (IATF), which calls upon state agencies to work collaboratively in support of the Governor’s plan to establish an offshore wind market in New Jersey. It also launched New Jersey’s Offshore Wind Strategic Plan, which was instrumental in providing the framework necessary for the board to solicit 1,100 MWs of offshore wind. In September of last year, the board announced the opening of the largest single state solicitation in the nation. It resulted in applications from three experienced offshore wind developers, which represent multi-billion-dollar investments and hundreds of clean energy jobs for New Jersey. It also adopted the OREC Funding Mechanism Rules, which establish a new and innovative funding structure that reduces risk for investors and ratepayers.

“Right now, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to establish New Jersey as a global leader in offshore wind,” New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan said. “Thanks to Governor Murphy’s vision, we are working with partners across State government to build a deeper understanding of the offshore wind project life cycle, supply chain, and workforce requirements. This will pave the way for the thousands of good-paying job opportunities and other economic benefits the State’s investment in this innovative sector will bring.”

Board staff is now in the process of reviewing the applications for 1,100 MW of wind power and expects to make an award at the end of June. Further, the governor has also asked the board to consider additional 1,200 MW solicitations in 2020 and 2022 as part of the 3,500 MW by 2030 goal.

“The development of offshore wind energy is critical to fighting climate change and sea-level rise as well as achieving the Governor’s clean energy goals,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe said. “Offshore wind energy represents vast potential for generation of green energy that will create jobs and economic growth that will make New Jersey stronger.”