The Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy has signed an executive order directing the state towards the goal of generating 3.5GW of offshore wind by 2030.
The Governor also urged the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to fully implement the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA), signed back in 2010.
The order directs the BPU to begin the rulemaking process to fill the gaps in the current regulations governing the Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credit (OREC) program and instructs BPU President Joseph Fiordaliso and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe to work together to establish an Offshore Wind Strategic Plan for New Jersey.
The plan will focus on critical components of offshore wind development, including job growth, workforce development, data collection, and appropriate determination of facilities, as well as ensuring that natural resources are protected, the government said.
The BPU will also implement the OREC program by approving financial plans submitted by offshore wind developers. After the creation of a process to approve such plans, the BPU will issue a solicitation calling for proposed projects for the generation of 1.1GW of electric power, the nation’s largest such solicitation to date. Finally, the order instructs the BPU to engage with neighboring states on the potential benefits of regional collaboration on offshore wind.
“Little progress has been made on offshore wind development in New Jersey despite a pledge from the previous administration to facilitate our growth of offshore wind,” Governor Murphy said.
“We cannot allow for stagnation in this growing sector of our energy economy and we cannot lose sight of the tremendous opportunity for offshore wind at the Jersey Shore. With this Executive Order, we begin the process of making New Jersey a leader in offshore wind, a critical step toward achieving our clean energy goals.”
During his gubernatorial race last year, Murphy revealed details of his State Energy Master Plan which calls for 3.5GW of commissioned offshore wind capacity by 2030. Murphy committed to starting the process of creating the new plan within his first 100 days in office to set the state on a path to 100% of clean energy by 2050.