NEETMA and Wind Grid ink agreement concerning New Jersey wind transmission

NextEra Energy Transmission MidAtlantic (NEETMA), a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Transmission, LLC, and WindGrid, a subsidiary of Elia Group, announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to lay the foundation to work together to develop and construct offshore wind transmission infrastructure for New Jersey if selected by the Board of Public Utilities (BPU).

The BPU and PJM Interconnection, LLC (PJM), are currently reviewing offshore wind transmission applications to get offshore wind generated energy to New Jersey customers under State Agreement Approach (SAA) process. They are expected to reveal later in 2022 on which applications, if any, will be approved.

NEETMA has submitted a number of proposals, collectively called the NJ Seawind Connector, to the BPU to support offshore wind transmission NEETMA's claims its design offers a cost-effective approach to meeting New Jersey's energy needs, while protecting utility customers and providing BPU additional optionality, expandability and flexibility, and high-quality offshore wind transmission infrastructure to meet the state's future energy needs.

To date, Elia Group has connected 13 wind farms to onshore grids and is currently operating three subsea cable interconnections. Elia Group is also working on new projects such as hybrid interconnectors and energy islands.

"WindGrid and its parent Elia Group are leaders in the engineering, construction and operation of offshore electric transmission projects and we're pleased to be collaborating with them on our New Jersey proposals," said Matt Valle, president, NextEra Energy Transmission. "We believe we are well-positioned to help New Jersey achieve its clean energy goals and we look forward to working with all stakeholders on making this important project a success."

"We believe our offshore wind transmission experience will provide valuable insights and provide meaningful benefits if the NEETMA project is selected by the BPU. Thanks to our industry-leading position in offshore electric transmission, we have access to and relationships with an extensive network of technical equipment suppliers with whom we collaborate to ensure we are integrating the latest technical innovations into each of our projects. Working with NEETMA, we expect to make a meaningful contribution to accelerating the energy transition in New Jersey," said Markus Laukamp, chief executive officer of WindGrid.

New Jersey is currently aiming to meet its goal of 7.5 GW of offshore wind by 2035 as directed Governor Phil Murphy back in 2020. Its first solicitation took place in 2019, and saw the award to Ørsted’s 1,100 MW Ocean Wind project to be built 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City. In 2021 it was followed by the combined award of 2,658 MW of offshore wind capacity to EDF/Shell’s Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind and Ørsted’s Ocean Wind II projects, bringing the state’s total planned capacity to over 3,700 MW. It is expected to issue its third offshore wind solicitation by January 2023.

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