Activist group Protect Our Coast N.J. (POCNJ) has filed a joint lawsuit with Defend Brigantine Beach (DBB) in the Superior Court of New Jersey, identifying NJ law A5651 (also known as S4019) to be in violation of the New Jersey Constitution, as it authorizes subsidies to a single offshore wind developer, partners Ocean Wind LLC and Orsted North America Inc.
Orsted, the Danish wind developer and owner of the Ocean Wind 1 project, lobbied the State of New Jersey for additional project funding citing inflationary and supply chain issues. In response, A5651 shifted federal credits earmarked for N.J. customers to the offshore wind developer. On June 26, the N.J. Division of Rate Counsel stated to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee that no factual basis has been offered to establish that any actual financial need exists to allow Orsted to retain additional tax credits.
The joint lawsuit describes A5651 as unconstitutional special legislation intended solely to benefit Orsted from business and financial risks it voluntarily assumed in an approved agreement with the N.J. Board of Public Utilities. Specifically, the law was passed for the singular purpose of benefiting the Danish wind developer in the construction of the Ocean Wind 1 project and has exposed ratepayers to additional financial burden.