New Jersey Receives 80 Offshore Wind Transmission Proposals

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) and PJM Interconnection have received 80 different proposals for offshore wind transmission solutions through solicitation launched last year. NJBPU and PJM are currently reviewing the applications, with a determination expected later in 2022, when the two will decide on which applications, if any, will be approved.

This is according to the latest press release from NJBPU, which announced on 27 January that, together with PJM, it had filed for approval of a State Agreement Approach (SAA) to implement New Jersey’s offshore wind transmission grid solicitation from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

The SAA, which provides protection for New Jersey ratepayers, also provides a pathway for the State to advance the first-of-its-kind offshore wind transmission solution as New Jersey implements its initiative to reach Governor Murphy’s goal of 7,500 MW of offshore wind energy by 2035, NJBPU said, adding that the Agreement has the potential to serve as a national model for transforming the way state clean energy priorities are incorporated into the regional transmission planning process.

Once accepted by FERC, the Agreement will allow NJBPU to select one or more of 80 different proposals submitted by developers, each of which includes ready-to-build offshore wind transmission solutions, as requested in solicitation opened in 2021.

NJBPU and PJM launched a 120-day solicitation period for offshore wind transmission proposals on 15 April 2021, looking for potential transmission solutions that would help deliver offshore wind energy to the existing power grid in New Jersey.

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Developers were asked to provide potential options for four interrelated components of an open access offshore wind transmission solution, including:

  • Upgrades to the existing grid to facilitate the offshore wind energy injections;
  • Extension of the onshore transmission grid closer to offshore wind locations;
  • Optimal landfall approaches to reduce environmental impacts, and any necessary offshore substations; and
  • Interconnections between offshore substations, sometimes called a transmission “backbone,” to provide benefits of a networked offshore grid.

One of the proposals filed is Anbaric’s portfolio of 19 offshore wind power transmission projects, called the Boardwalk Power Link projects, which propose to utilise 400 kV high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission with offshore platform locations that would allow for ready use by the bidders in future New Jersey offshore wind procurements.

The company Rise Light & Power submitted a proposal that involves redeveloping the site of a former coal-fired power station in South Amboy and turning it into a renewable energy hub serving as a central interconnection point for offshore wind farms.

NJBPU and PJM also received several joint proposals from Ørsted and Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), which are behind the 1.1 GW Ocean Wind offshore wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City, selected by NJBPU to negotiate a 20-year offshore wind renewable energy credit (OREC) in June 2019.

Ørsted and PSEG’s proposals, collectively named Coastal Wind Link, encompass both individual and networked solutions, and would utilise the existing PSEG infrastructure in New Jersey to expedite development and enhance constructability, according to a press release from October 2021.

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Photo: TenneT; Illustration (archive)