NJBPU Launches Second Offshore Wind Transmission Solicitation

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has requested PJM Interconnection (PJM), New Jersey’s regional grid operator, to include New Jersey’s current public policy of 11 GW of offshore wind by 2040 into PJM’s Regional Transmission Expansion Planning (RTEP) using their State Agreement Approach (SAA).

NJEDA; Illustration

This will be the State’s second use of the SAA to optimise the delivery of offshore wind into the State’s transmission system. It is expected that SAA 2.0 will solicit proposals to inject the additional 3.5 GW needed to reach the State’s 11 GW goal at the Deans 500 kV substation.

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However, transmission developers will be allowed to propose particularly cost-effective alternative points of interconnection that may still meet New Jersey’s immediate policy goals, said NJBPU.

According to the Board, the Deans 500 kV substation was identified for SAA 2.0 because it is located near high electric load centres; it is accessible to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) offshore wind lease areas that are likely to service New Jersey; it was previously identified by PJM as having the available capability to accommodate the desired injection.

“Today’s board action sets the state on a course to reach its aggressive clean energy goals while also providing for significant ratepayer savings and reduced environmental impacts, all while creating a robust, resilient, and future-focused transmission system. Anbaric looks forward to the opportunity to participate in this SAA process“, said Anbaric Development Partners.

In 2020, NJBPU formally requested the inclusion of New Jersey’s then offshore wind goal of 7.5 GW by 2035 into PJM’s transmission planning process, which resulted in a competitive solicitation for a variety of transmission projects.

The process resulted in the selection of the Larrabee Tri-Collector Solution proposed by Mid-Atlantic Offshore Development (MAOD) and Jersey Central Power & Light Company. MAOD is a joint venture of EDF Renewables-North America and Shell New Energies US.

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Using the SAA process to identify and award projects is estimated to save ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars, in addition to providing many other ancillary benefits, said the Board.

According to NJBPU, the exploration of coordinated transmission alternatives through SAA 2.0 will have no impact on the offshore wind projects that have already been awarded, or that will be awarded up to a total of 7.5 GW.

Those projects will interconnect as directed in the applicable Board Orders approving offshore wind projects. SAA 2.0 will be used for new, approved projects up to the Governor’s new goal of 11 GW.

The NJBPU is currently preparing an SAA 2.0 solicitation guidance document (SAA 2.0 SGD) that will include details regarding the solicitation components and the proposal evaluation process, and to issue a draft SAA 2.0 SGD for public comment in order to inform the development of the final SAA 2.0 solicitation.

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