New Jersey Sets Up Regional Planning Process for Offshore Wind Transmission

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) and regional electricity grid operator PJM Interconnection have agreed to commence a State Agreement Approach (SAA) solicitation for offshore wind transmission solutions.

The commencement of the SAA includes New Jersey using the competitive solicitation process in PJM’s existing planning framework to explore options for the development of transmission solutions for offshore wind energy.

Following NJBPU’s request, PJM will include New Jersey’s needs for offshore wind-related transmission improvements in a competitive proposal window set to open in the first quarter of 2021.

This represents the first solicitation of its kind in PJM’s history.

Transmission developers may submit proposals to address the state’s goal of facilitating the infrastructure necessary to deliver the target of up to 7.5 GW of offshore wind over the next 15 years.

For explanation, the SAA enables a state, or group of states, to propose a state-initiated project to assist in realizing public policy requirements as long as it agrees to pay all costs of the state-selected buildout included in the Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP).

Transmission component options include grid-to-onshore substations, onshore substations to offshore collector farms, and an offshore transmission “backbone.”

“We applaud President Fiordaliso and the BPU for their historic decision to further New Jersey as the clear national leader in offshore wind development. As the principal industry advocate for a planned, independent transmission system that protects ratepayers and grows the industry, Anbaric is thrilled to see the BPU take this enormous step forward, said Janice Fuller, Anbaric President for the Mid-Atlantic.

“Governor Murphy is leading the nation towards a cleaner energy future with one of the most ambitious offshore wind goals set to date. With today’s decision, BPU has made clear that in order to reach that 7500MW goal by 2035, the state must prioritize a planned transmission system that can scale the industry in an economic and environmentally sound way.”