New Jersey’s Environment and Energy Transition Advisory Committee has proposed that the newly elected Governor Phil Murphy jumpstarts the offshore wind industry by committing to the solicitation of 1,100MW of offshore wind power.
New Jersey has fallen behind other US states over the last eight years in harnessing the state’s offshore wind resources, the committee said in a report submitted to Governor Murphy.
Considering the state’s natural advantages of having some of the best offshore wind resources in the world and its proximity to one of the nation’s most congested and expensive electric load centers — New Jersey can become the dominant offshore wind player in the US MidAtlantic market, according to the report.
The state should also issue rules to advance offshore wind projects and establish a 3,500MW goal by 2030 set out in Governor Murphy’s election campaign.
A range of mechanisms, including Board of Public Utilities (BPU) orders, should be considered to help reach this goal, the report said.
The state should begin the development of an Offshore Wind Strategic Plan that engages stakeholders and focuses on achieving scale to reduce costs, job growth, supply-chain businesses, workforce development, data collection, and appropriate siting of facilities.
The plan also must ensure comprehensive planning and interaction with stakeholders, to address potential areas of concern including impact on wildlife, fish, birds, and habitat.
The committee has also recommended convening a summit with New York and other nearby states, to coordinate the development of federal waters.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held a competitive lease sale for the Wind Energy Area offshore New Jersey in 2015.
RES America Developments Inc. was the winner of lease area OCS-A 0498 and US Wind Inc. won the lease area OCS-A 0499. The commercial wind energy leases went into effect on 1 March 2016.
In 2016, Ørsted acquired the rights for the OCS-A 0498 lease area offshore New Jersey from RES Americas Developments.
New Jersey has one more offshore wind project under development. Fishermen’s Energy Atlantic City Windfarm would comprise 6 Siemens 4MW turbines installed off Atlantic City.