Ørsted Gets Tax Break for New Jersey’s First Offshore Wind Farm, Shell-EDF JV Calls for Same Treatment for All Current NJ Projects
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed a bill that will ease Ørsted’s tax obligations related to the 1.1 GW Ocean Wind 1 project, the state’s first offshore wind farm and the largest so far approved for construction in the US. Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, a joint venture between Shell and EDF Renewables which is also developing offshore wind projects in the state, has called for “an industry-wide solution” instead of a bill meant to support a single developer.
Signed on the 6th of July, the bill (A5651/S4019) will enable Ocean Wind 1 to access federal tax credits and commit to supporting the growing offshore wind supply chain in the state, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
“Today, New Jersey takes a major step toward reaching the Governor’s goal of 11 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2040 so that we can provide clean, renewable energy for all New Jerseyans as we continue to fight the ravages of climate change”, said Joseph L. Fiordaliso, the President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU). “Not only is a thriving offshore wind industry vital for the future of our environment, but it will provide a significant boost to our state’s economy including the creation of a supply chain hub in south Jersey and thousands of good paying union jobs”.
The Ocean Wind 1 project received the federal green light to enter construction only a couple of days ago, marking a milestone not only for New Jersey as its first offshore wind farm to be built but also for the US as it is the third commercial-scale and the largest offshore wind farm so far to get approval to start building.
According to the US media, without the tax break now signed off by the governor, the project would have had a hard time taking off.
New Jersey has several more offshore wind farms in permitting or in planning, including the proposed sequel to Ørsted’s now-approved offshore wind farm, the 1,148 MW Ocean Wind 2, as well as the projects being developed by Atlantic Shores, a joint venture between Shell and EDF Renewables, the 1.5 GW Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Project 1 and the 1.4 GW Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Project 2.
Following the new bill supporting Ocean Wind 1 passing the New Jersey legislature, CEO of the Atlantic Shores, Joris Veldhoven, called for a solution that stabilises all current offshore wind projects in the state and said tens of thousands of unionised jobs were at risk, as well as hundreds of millions in infrastructure investments.
“Today’s bill passage reaffirms the State’s commitment to offshore wind. Yet, to establish a durable, thriving, full-scale offshore wind industry in New Jersey, we need an industry-wide solution, one that stabilizes all current projects including Atlantic Shore Project 1, the largest offshore wind project in the State of New Jersey and third largest project awarded in the United States”, Joris Veldhoven said on the 5th of July.
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Veldhoven highlighted some of the benefits for the state that the joint venture’s commitments would bring through its offshore wind projects, including USD 848 million in guaranteed local economic benefits to the state and a positive overall economic impact for New Jersey in excess of USD 1.9 billion, as well as 4 million tons of annual greenhouse gas reductions.
“And while the current bill provides uplift for our manufacturing partner EEW-AOS at the Port of Paulsboro, and we remain confident that EEW-AOS will be prepared to start manufacturing monopiles for Atlantic Shores Project 1, we need immediate action that also supports the Atlantic Shores Project 1 to keep these commitments within reach”, Joris Veldhoven said.
The two Atlantic Shores projects entered federal permitting in the autumn of 2021, following the award of 1,510 MW capacity by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) as part of the State’s second offshore wind solicitation in June 2021.
In May of this year, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the two offshore wind farms, bringing the projects a step closer to completing the permitting process and nearing realisation.
On the Ocean Wind 1 project, which received the tax break shortly after being approved by BOEM, construction will start later this year with work on the onshore substation and land cable route.
The 1.1 GW offshore wind farm, located approximately 24 kilometres off the coast of southern New Jersey, is scheduled to be commissioned in 2025.
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