The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) on April 25 said that it has approved the issuance of a Request for Quotation (RFQ) that is designed to facilitate the creation of a strategic plan to enable the BPU to implement New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s Offshore Wind Executive Order No. 8.
That executive order, according to a Jan. 31 statement posted on Murphy’s website, directs the BPU to fully implement the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA), and begin the process of moving the state toward a goal of 3,500 MW of offshore wind energy generation by 2030.
While former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed OWEDA in 2010, allowing state agencies to craft an Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credit (OREC) program, gaps remain in the regulations for implementing that program, and offshore wind developers have not obtained the necessary approvals from the BPU to move forward, according to the statement.
Executive Order No. 8 directs the BPU to begin the rulemaking process to fill the gaps, the statement noted, adding that the order also directs the BPU president and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection commissioner to work together to establish an Offshore Wind Strategic Plan for New Jersey. That plan will focus on critical components of offshore wind development, such as job growth, workforce development, data collection, and appropriate determination of facilities, as well as ensuring that natural resources are protected, according to the statement.
Executive Order No. 8 directs the BPU to implement the OREC program by approving financial plans submitted by offshore wind developers, the statement noted. After the creation of a process to approve such plans, the BPU is to issue a solicitation calling for proposed offshore wind projects for the generation of 1,100 MW of electric power, the Jan. 31 statement added.
In its April 25 statement, the BPU said that the RFQ will solicit quotes to provide strategic planning and analyses to help New Jersey meet its offshore wind goals. The winning bidder is being asked to help in defining the standards for offshore wind development that the state needs to achieve its initial goal of 1,100 MW of offshore wind energy capacity and its subsequent buildout to the proposed 3,500 MW, the BPU said.
In issuing the RFQ, the BPU said that it has determined that the strategic planning process for offshore wind should include certain components, including:
- Identifying and developing steps, milestones, and a timeline that the BPU needs to undertake to achieve its offshore wind goals
- Accepting input from the public, offshore wind community, and other stakeholders
- Increasing understanding of quantified environmental and economic benefits and costs associated with offshore wind
- Addressing offshore wind electricity delivery and grid integration issues – taking into account the impact of significant and increased offshore wind deployment on grids at state and regional levels
According to the RFQ, the intent of the request is to award a contract to a responsible bidder whose quotation, conforming to the RFQ, is most advantageous to the state, price, and other factors considered.
The RFQ also noted that based on initial modeling and analysis, the contractor is to issue a preliminary report by Sept. 1, or a date agreed to by the state contract manager, with specific recommendations for the BPU to consider in advance of a solicitation for 1,100 MW of offshore wind capacity. The report is to address such key concerns and issues as:
- A gap analysis of ports, marine, and fleet capabilities, and all other infrastructure required to support the localization of the supply chain and the development of 1,100 MW and subsequent buildout to 3,500 MW
- The level of investments necessary to support the initial 1,100 MW of capacity and subsequent buildout, especially in relation to ports, infrastructure, transmission and workforce development
- Supply chain requirements necessary for offshore wind buildout to 1,100 MW and subsequent buildout to 3,500 MW
The RFQ noted that questions are due on May 9, and submissions in response to the RFQ are due on May 23.