Gov. Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey is on course to reach its goal of 3,500 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030, a critical milestone in the administration’s ambitious goal of transforming New Jersey into a 100 percent clean energy state by 2050 and building a strong clean energy economy.
Governor Murphy’s announcement, delivered at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco comes just days before the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) will consider opening an 1,100 MW application window for offshore wind projects. The governor also called on the BPU to open two additional 1,200 MW solicitations in 2020 and 2022 to achieve the 3,500 MW capacity target.
“Every day that we don’t act to reverse the effects of climate change is another day that we abandon our economic, social, and moral obligation to create a safe, clean environment for future generations,” said Governor Murphy. “In the absence of strong leadership at the federal level, states are taking it upon themselves to combat climate change and I’m proud to say that New Jersey is leading that charge.”
The BPU will determine the process by which the additional 1,200 MW solicitation windows are opened in 2020 and 2022, according to Governor Murphy. The solicitation schedule is in line with Executive Order 8, which Governor Murphy signed in February and directs the BPU to take all necessary actions to implement the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA). The Act was signed into law in 2010, but the implementation remained largely dormant until Governor Murphy took office in January.
BPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso said Governor Murphy’s aggressive clean energy timeline reflects an urgency to address climate change as a result of eight years of inactivity since OWEDA became law.
“I applaud Governor Murphy for his leadership on what is the critical issue of our time, runaway climate change, and I am proud to lead the agency that has been selected to lead the charge,” President Fiordaliso said. “If we don’t act now, we might never have another chance to make the world safer and cleaner for our residents, our children, and our grandchildren.”
Fiordaliso noted the benefit of creating a new energy economy in New Jersey that reflects 21st century needs and technology. “The development of new, clean energy sources will develop a new revenue stream in New Jersey and will create new jobs for our residents,” Fiordaliso added. A study conducted by E2 estimates that every dollar invested in offshore wind generates $1.83 in economic activity. That economic growth will create upwards of 4,300 construction jobs in New Jersey and infuse $700 million into the State’s economy.
The BPU will consider the 1,100 MW application window at its meeting on Monday, September 17, at the State House Annex, Committee Room 6, in Trenton.
This latest step in the State’s clean energy conversion follows the BPU’s selection in June of a consultant, Ramboll, to assist in developing an Offshore Wind Strategic Plan. Additionally, the BPU is the lead agency in developing the 2019 Energy Master Plan, whose committee is hosting a series of public stakeholder meetings this month. The EMP will chart a course to 100 percent clean energy in New Jersey by 2050.
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