In the continuing effort to achieve Gov. Phil Murphy’s goal of 11 GW of offshore wind energy in New Jersey by 2040, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has voted to open the application window for the state’s third solicitation for offshore wind capacity.
The third solicitation seeks to award between 1.2 GW and 4 GW of offshore wind capacity, building on the previously awarded 3.75 GW.
“This marks a pivotal next step toward accomplishment of our offshore wind development goals,” said the governor. “Offshore wind constitutes a crucial component of our journey to 100% clean energy by 2035, a benchmark that solidifies our position at the national forefront of climate action. In addition to safeguarding our communities from the worsening impacts of climate change, this emerging industry will generate thousands of good-paying jobs and economic opportunity across the state.”
While developing the state’s offshore wind resources, NJBPU will continue to coordinate with the applicable federal agencies with jurisdiction, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to ensure projects are responsibly developed and sited.
As part of the NJBPU’s second offshore wind energy solicitation, Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind and Ocean Wind committed $10,000 per megawatt of project-size-awarded capacity – or approximately $26.5 million – to fund regional research and monitoring to assess the impacts of offshore wind on New Jersey’s natural resources.
The Research and Monitoring Initiative will identify, prioritize and fund projects in regional research and monitoring of marine and coastal resources before and during offshore wind development, construction, operation and maintenance, and decommissioning as recommended in the New Jersey Offshore Wind Strategic Plan. NJBPU is recommending that any projects selected in the third solicitation contribute funding to this initiative.
In opening the third solicitation, the NJBPU also issued its Third Solicitation Guidance Document, which was developed through a public stakeholder process and provides the solicitation’s mechanics and timeline, project application requirements, and evaluation criteria. The application window closes on June 23, 2023. NJBPU anticipates making a decision on the submitted applications by the end of 2023.
In 2019, the NJBPU made an award from its first offshore wind solicitation to Ørsted’s 1.1 GW Ocean Wind project, the largest single-project award in the country at that time. In 2021, the NJBPU made its second and third awards to Ocean Wind II for 1.1 GW of offshore wind capacity and Atlantic Shores for 1.5 GW of offshore wind capacity. To date, the NJBPU has awarded 3.75 GW of offshore wind capacity. The three projects are expected to inject $4.7 billion into New Jersey’s economy and create over 10,000 jobs – over 70,000 FTE job-years.
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