New Jersey Postpones Offshore Wind Solicitation

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) will release the third solicitation for New Jersey’s offshore wind development by January 2023, rather than the previously anticipated September 2022.

Siemens Gamesa/Illustration

The 1,200 MW solicitation is expected to close by the end of 2023 and the project or projects awarded are scheduled to come online by 2030.

The updated timeline complements the first-of-its-kind coordinated transmission solution to get offshore wind-generated energy to the New Jersey grid, NJBPU said.

The transmission solution will be selected from 80 projects submitted by transmission developers for consideration in the State Agreement Approach (SAA) process.

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The SAA is a collaboration between the NJBPU and PJM Interconnection, LLC (PJM) that enables New Jersey’s offshore wind goal to be incorporated into the PJM transmission planning process. The response is said to provide considerable options for the potential selection of a project or projects that would provide the most efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally protective transmission solution.

The updated schedule allows for the SAA process to be completed and the outcome incorporated into the Third Solicitation guidance documents.

In addition, the updated schedule will allow the developers who successfully bid for new lease areas in the New York Bight time to further plan the investigation and subsequent development of their lease areas, NJBPU said.

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”Expanding New Jersey’s offshore wind industry is a vital step forward in creating a stronger, fairer, and greener New Jersey,” said New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy.

”A clean energy future is critical for our economy and our environment. The updated timeline ensures that we are paving a strong pathway for the future of offshore wind development.”

In January, NJBPU and PJM filed for approval of an Agreement to implement New Jersey’s offshore wind transmission grid solicitation from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The agreement is said to provide a pathway for New Jersey 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. The State Agreement Approach 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, NJBPU said.

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”New Jersey remains 100 percent committed to offshore wind development and this update to our schedule takes into account two exciting and important milestones in offshore wind in our region,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso.

”With 80 proposals for transmission solutions submitted in response to the SAA solicitation, adjusting our timeline to allow for the selection of the optimal transmission solution will inform our next solicitation for offshore wind projects. Coupled with the new lease areas in the New York Bight, developers will now have ample time to put together thoughtful and cost effective proposals.”

Once accepted by FERC, the agreement will allow NJBPU to select one or more of 80 different proposals submitted by developers. Each proposal includes ready-to-build offshore wind transmission solutions to deliver offshore wind energy to the existing power grid.

NJBPU and PJM are currently reviewing the offshore wind transmission applications filed, with a determination expected later in 2022 on which applications, if any, will be approved.

In 2019, New Jersey awarded the largest single offshore wind project in the country to Ørsted’s 1,100 MW Ocean Wind project to be built 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City. Back in 2021, New Jersey awarded the largest combined offshore wind capacity of 2,658 MW to EDF/Shell’s Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind and Ørsted’s Ocean Wind II projects, bringing the state’s total planned capacity to over 3,700 MW.