New Jersey sets out strategic plan for offshore wind

In: Windfarms
The state of New Jersey, on the east coast of the United States, has set out its strategy to achieve 7.5 GW of offshore wind by 2035. The new strategy document outlines future procurements and details steps in a plan to realize the wind’s deployment. The Offshore Wind Strategic Plan (OWSP) incorporates scientific studies and data, state agency input, industry expertise, and stakeholder input.

The Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, described the plan as “a critical blueprint that will guide us toward our goal of 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2035 and help us achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2050.”

In addition to its 2018 solicitation, for 1.1 GW, the state is planning five offshore wind Requests for Proposals (RFP), as follows:

- RFP 2 in 2020 (for 1.2 GW, operational by 2026)

- RFP 3 in 2022 (for 1.2 GW, operational by 2029)

- RFP 4 in 2024 (for 1.2 GW, operational by 2031)

- RFP 5 in 2026 (for 1.4 GW, operational by 2033)

- RFP 6 in 2028 (for 1.6 GW, operational by 2035)

As part of the OWSP, 12,500 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean, east of the state and ranging from areas off Long Island to Maryland, were evaluated. The study area includes the majority of leased areas and some planned future areas in the New York Bight.

There are five “critical” areas of study in the OWSP:

- Environmental and natural resource protection

- Commercial and recreational fisheries

- Supply chain and workforce development

- Ports and harbours

- Energy markets and transmission

For each topic, the OWSP describes its strategic importance, includes a summary of stakeholder outreach, conveys current studies and findings, and outlines “specific recommendations for successful offshore wind development.” In particular, the plan calls for additional studies into fisheries, grid connection, and ports.

Last year, the BPU announced
the winner of its 2018 solicitation for 1.1 GW. Danish offshore wind giant Ørsted secured rights to the site with the Ocean Wind project with support from New Jersey utility company Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG). Located off the coast of Atlantic City, the project is poised to be New Jersey’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm. Subject to its final investment decision, the wind farm is expected to be completed by 2024.

Joseph L. Fiordaliso, President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities said of the plan: “Offshore wind represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for New Jersey. By investing in this renewable resource we can provide jobs, clean energy, and millions of dollars in economic activity for our state. The new Offshore Wind Strategic Plan is a comprehensive roadmap for achieving Governor Murphy’s goal of 7,500 megawatts of installed capacity by 2035 and ensures we are working toward the best value for New Jersey ratepayers.”

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