The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has released a report detailing the progress made toward the state’s offshore wind goals in the year since Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 8, directing the board 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,” states Joseph L. Fiordaliso, president of the NJBPU. “Offshore wind is a key aspect of the governor’s clean energy initiatives as we put in place policies aimed at combating the effects of climate change.”
Since the executive order was signed on Jan. 31, 2018, the board has solicited bids for the first 1,100 MW of offshore wind. The governor has also asked the board to consider additional 1,200 MW solicitations in 2020 and 2022 as part of the goal of 3,500 MW by 2030.
As the report highlights, over the last year, the NJBPU has accomplished as follows:
- Established an Interagency Agency Taskforce on Offshore Wind (IATF), February 2018. The IATF builds on the executive order by calling upon all state agencies with responsibility under OWEDA to work collaboratively in support of the governor’s offshore wind agenda and toward the establishment of a vibrant offshore wind market in New Jersey and in the region. This coordinated and statewide approach is critical to building a supply chain and training a workforce for the industry.
- Launched New Jersey’s Offshore Wind Strategic Plan, August 2018. This was instrumental in providing the framework necessary for the board to move forward in the solicitation of 1,100 MW of offshore wind. The plan will establish the critical decision-making framework for moving forward in consultation with stakeholders and strategic partners.
- Opened the competitive solicitation for 1,100 MW and a framework for future solicitations, September 2018. The board announced the opening of the largest single-state solicitation in the nation on Sept. 17. The competitive solicitation resulted in applications from three offshore wind developers (Equinor, EDF-Shell and Ørsted), representing multibillion-dollar investments and hundreds of clean energy jobs for New Jersey.
- Adopted the Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificate (OREC) funding mechanism rules, December 2018. This established a new and innovative funding structure that reduced risk for investors and ratepayers and gained full stakeholder support, including from the electric distribution companies.
“Right now, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to establish New Jersey as a global leader in offshore wind,” says Tim Sullivan, CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. “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.”
“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,” adds Catherine R. McCabe, commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection. “Offshore wind energy represents vast potential for generation of green energy that will create jobs and economic growth that will make New Jersey stronger.”
“New Jersey residents should be extremely proud of what Governor Murphy and the Board of Public Utilities accomplished in 2018 on offshore wind power,” notes Curtis Fisher, Northeast regional executive director for the National Wildlife Federation. “After lagging behind states like New York and Massachusetts for the last eight years, New Jersey is now on track to become an offshore wind powerhouse. The National Wildlife Federation applauds New Jersey’s leadership in advancing this critically needed climate change solution, which can and must be developed in a manner that protects our valuable wildlife and maximizes job-creation opportunities across the state.”
The NJBPU’s full report can be found here.