Company Proposes to Redevelop Former Coal-Fired Power Plant Site to Connect NJ Offshore Wind Farms

Rise Light & Power has submitted a proposal to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) and PJM Interconnection, which involves redeveloping the site of a former coal-fired power station in South Amboy, New Jersey, and turning it into a renewable energy hub serving as a central interconnection point for offshore wind farms.

The company filed the proposal for its Outerbridge Renewable Connector plan in response to PJM’s solicitation launched in April, which is looking for qualified developers to submit potential transmission solutions that would help deliver offshore wind energy to the existing power grid in New Jersey.

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The solicitation is part of NJBPU’s transmission planning related to the State’s goal of 7.5 GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2035, announced by Governor Phil Murphy in 2019. As part of the same target, NJBPU opened the second solicitation for offshore wind project development in September 2020 and awarded a combined 2,658 MW of offshore wind capacity to two projects this summer.

Rise Light & Power, which recently completed the acquisition of the site of the former E.H. Werner Power Station, said the proposal was submitted after months of consultations with elected leaders, policymakers, offshore wind developers, environmental advocates, labor, business, fishing interests, and other stakeholders.

“In repurposing the past to power the future, Outerbridge will be a valuable part of the South Amboy waterfront, creating good-paying union jobs during construction”, the company said.

A photo of South Amboy Mayor Fred Henry and Rise Light & Power CEO Clint Plummer review future plans to transform the former coal-fired Werner Generating Station into a clean energy hub
Source: Rise Light & Power

Rise states that the Outerbridge Renewable Connector enables offshore wind projects to avoid bringing high voltage power cables ashore at New Jersey’s beaches or other sensitive areas. Instead, the industrial waterfront site that was previously home to the Jersey Central Power & Light Company’s E.H. Werner power station, would be transformed into “an ideal gateway for bringing power from offshore wind farms into New Jersey”. 

The 26-acre site located on Raritan Bay, which was retired as a coal-fired power station in 2015, features an existing substation and switchyard, rail and highway access, a pier with expansion potential and unobstructed access to the Atlantic Ocean with 24 acres of submerged lands, according to the company.

“Once offshore wind energy is delivered to the new clean energy hub at South Amboy, Outerbridge would function as a giant extension cord, delivering clean energy to the local power grid through upgraded grid infrastructure on the site and to the Deans Substation through buried cables along an existing railroad right of way. The power cables will be entirely underground. A proposed battery energy-storage system offers the opportunity for further reliability to the grid”, Rise states.

Photo: Rise Light & Power