New Jersey’s First Wind Farm to Be Located 15 Miles Off Atlantic City

Project Represents ‘Single Largest Award for Offshore Wind in the Country’
By PAT JOHNSON | Jun 26, 2019
Courtesy of: Ørsted

Trenton — Danish company Ørsted has been chosen to begin New Jersey’s wind power age with its 1,100-megawatt Ocean Wind project to be constructed 15 miles off Atlantic City’s coastline in federal waters on the outer continental shelf.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities announced the award of the needed Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificates (OREC) permit last Friday, June 21. There were two other applicants: Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, a partnership between EDF Renewables and Shell New Energies, and Boardwalk Wind, sponsored by Equinor.

According to the BPU, “As New Jersey advances its 100 percent Clean Energy goals, Ørsted’s project is expected to generate $1.17 billion in economic benefits, and create 15,000 jobs over the project’s life. The 1,100 MW of offshore wind is expected to power roughly 500,000 homes.

“The decision sets the record for the single largest award for offshore wind in the country and marks further progress toward meeting the state’s goal of 3,500 MW of offshore wind by 2030 and Governor Phil Murphy’s vision of 100 percent clean energy for the state by 2050.”

Details on how many turbines are to be built were not available at press time.

“Today’s historic announcement will revolutionize the offshore wind industry here in New Jersey and along the entire East Coast,” said Murphy on Friday. “Building our offshore wind industry will create thousands of jobs, invite new investments into our state, and put us on a path to reaching our goal of 3,500 MW of offshore wind by 2030. This award is a monumental step in making New Jersey a global leader in offshore wind development and deployment.”

New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan said the award is a step toward making New Jersey the “capital of the American wind industry.” “We are thrilled to be partnering with the BPU and selected developers to advance this high-growth sector that will create thousands of good-paying jobs and supply-chain opportunities.”

Sullivan added that the newly created New Jersey Offshore Wind Supply Chain Registry will be a powerful tool for ensuring that New Jersey-based companies can take advantage of the opportunities created by these new offshore wind projects.

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe added, “To help lessen the impacts of climate change and rising sea levels, it is critical that New Jersey develop clean energy sources that reduce the level of carbon in our atmosphere. I am proud to lead the DEP in its partnership with the BPU to aggressively pursue Governor Murphy’s vision of expanding New Jersey’s offshore wind capacity, while ensuring that we continue to protect our coastal ecosystems and abundant fisheries. ”

Ørsted has already built and maintains 5.6 gigawatts of offshore wind around the world including the 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island, the nation’s first offshore wind farm.

Ocean Wind, which is backed by a memorandum of understanding between Ørsted and PSEG Renewable Generation, was the clear choice, according to the BPU. The evaluation criteria included OREC purchase price, economic impact, ratepayer impact, environmental impact, the strength of guarantees for economic impact, and the likelihood of successful commercial operation.

Based on the analysis that Ørsted’s project offered the strongest contribution to New Jersey’s economy in combating climate change and providing added reliability to the transmission network at the lowest reasonable cost and risk, the BPU approved Ørsted’s application. The winning bidder can qualify for federal investment tax credits that expire at the end of this year. It is estimated that these credits could save New Jersey ratepayers approximately 12 percent of the total project cost.

Under an executive directive by the governor, the BPU adopted a rule last fall that enacted an OREC funding mechanism, which established how an offshore wind project is funded and how revenues earned from the project would flow back to ratepayers.

When making the rules governing wind power, Murphy also asked the BPU to open two additional 1,200-MW solicitations, one in 2020 and another in 2022.

— Pat Johnson

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