Firms hoping to install wind turbines off the New Jersey coast increased lobbying-related spending 234 percent from USD 261,664 in 2017 to USD 874,679 in 2018, according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.
Several firms ramped up their lobbying activity in 2018 in anticipation of the deep sea “gold rush” that
will create an entire industry in the Garden State, the commission said, adding that many firms from outside New Jersey or even the United States engaged in lobbying last year.
The biggest spender last year was Ørsted North America Inc., with USD 330,206 spent on lobbying in 2018, as compared to USD 158,164 spent in 2017. NextEra Energy Resources spent USD 199,379 in 2018, compared to USD 72,000 in 2017.
EDF Renewable Development shelled out USD 94,982 in 2018, and Deepwater Wind LLC, now part of Ørsted, spent USD 94,556 on lobbying in 2018, compared to USD 7,500 in 2017.
Anbaric Development Partners Spent USD 75,000, Equinor USD 30,000, American Wind Energy Associates (AWEA) USD 24,000, Fishermen’s Energy USD 18,627, and Siemens Gamesa USD 7,929.
The increase in spending is attributed to New Jersey setting a goal of having 3,500MW of operating offshore wind capacity by 2030, and issuing the first solicitation for up to 1,100MW of offshore wind.
As reported earlier, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities received three bids in response to the solicitation. The bids came from Ørsted for the Ocean Wind project, Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, a joint venture between Shell and EDF Renewables North America, and Equinor, the developer of the Boardwalk Wind project.
Two additional solicitations of 1.2GW are expected to take place in 2020 and 2022.