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File Photo: Wind farm in the North sea off the coast of United Kingdom.

File photo: Riekelt Hakvoort/Shutterstock

New Jersey Approves Two Major Offshore Wind Projects

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2742
January 24, 2024

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has given the green light to two major offshore wind projects, with a combined capacity of 3,742 megawatts (MW).

Leading Light Wind, a collaboration between Invenergy and energyRe, secured 2,400 MW of capacity, while Attentive Energy LLC’s Attentive Energy Two was awarded 1,342 MW. These projects will inject $6.8 billion into the New Jersey economy and generate enough energy to power 1.8 million homes.

The approvals were part of the state’s third solicitation for offshore wind power as it aims to achieve approximately 11,000 MW of offshore wind power by 2040.

The developments are expected to bring significant economic benefits for New Jersey and establish it as a key player in the offshore wind supply chain. Both projects have pledged to support the creation of a tower manufacturer at the New Jersey Wind Port and to source monopiles from the EEW monopile facility at the Port of Paulsboro. In total, the projects are projected to create more than 27,000 job years.

The approvals come as the offshore wind industry faces challenges from soaring costs, high interest rates and supply chain bottlenecks that have forced some projects to developers to pivot their plans or cancel projects altogether.

New Jersey’s offshore wind development strategy aims to secure the best overall value for ratepayers while safeguarding the environment and commercial and recreational fishing interests. As part of their commitment, the awarded projects will provide over $60 million for environmental and fisheries research, monitoring, and conservation efforts. Once operational and delivering clean electricity to the New Jersey grid by 2031, the two projects will add $6.84 to the monthly bill of residential customers.

Governor Phil Murphy hailed the awards as “undeniable proof that the future of offshore wind in New Jersey is as strong as ever”. He added that the projects would significantly advance the state’s pursuit of a 100% clean energy economy by 2035.

Both projects still require federal approval by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

The Murphy administration has been actively promoting the state’s clean energy transition, focusing on jobs and economic growth. This includes the development of the nation’s first purpose-built New Jersey Wind Port in Salem County, establishing a Wind Institute to coordinate offshore wind workforce development and research, and a $250 million investment in the Port of Paulsboro to establish a monopile manufacturing facility.

“Governor Murphy’s leadership is positioning New Jersey as a significant hub for offshore wind development,” said Said Anne Reynolds, Vice President for offshore wind at the American Clean Power Association.

In a move to accelerate the State’s fourth offshore wind solicitation, Governor Murphy directed the NJBPU on November 29, 2023, with project awards expected in early 2025.

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