Offshore Wind Transmission Proposal Advances

Key Step Forward for First-in-the-Nation Transmission Solution

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and PJM Interconnection (PJM) filed for approval of an Agreement to implement New Jersey’s groundbreaking offshore wind transmission grid solicitation from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  The Agreement, known as the State Agreement Approach (SAA), provides 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.  New Jersey’s 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.

“Providing a framework for implementing the State Agreement Approach is a critical next step on the pathway for efficient offshore wind interconnection between the approved wind farms and the onshore grid,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “New Jersey is once again leading the way on offshore wind through this agreement approach, which unlocks the potential for drastically minimizing community impacts, while saving money for New Jersey’s ratepayers.”

“Under the leadership of Governor Murphy,” continued Fiordaliso, “New Jersey has already established itself as the national offshore wind leader and the epicenter of the offshore wind supply chain which will provide a tremendous boost to the state’s clean energy economy including significant job creation.”

“We are excited to take another step with New Jersey in the first-ever implementation of the State Agreement Approach.” said Manu Asthana, president and CEO of PJM Interconnection. “PJM’s proven competitive process will allow the Board of Public Utilities to select an optimized, comprehensive solution that maintains electric reliability while advancing the state’s energy policy goals.”

PJM and NJBPU have already asked developers to propose the optimal mix of onshore and offshore transmission facilities that provide the most economically efficient and reliable way of delivering power from offshore wind turbines to New Jersey customers.  Once accepted by FERC, the Agreement filed today will allow the 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.  Developers were asked to propose one or more of the following:

  1. upgrades to the existing grid to facilitate the offshore wind energy injections;
  2. extension of the onshore transmission grid closer to offshore wind locations;
  3. optimal landfall approaches to reduce environmental impacts, and any necessary offshore substations; and
  4. interconnections between offshore substations, sometimes called a transmission “backbone,” to provide benefits of a networked offshore grid.

The SAA provides protection for New Jersey ratepayers, while also providing a pathway for an equitable future expansion of the offshore wind grid to achieve national goals.

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.

More information about New Jersey’s offshore wind program can be found here.

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