New Jersey continues to work on its goal of having 3,500 MW of offshore wind energy generation by 2030, as noted in a recently released report by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) and the members of the Interagency Agency Taskforce (IATF) on Offshore Wind.
As noted in the report, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in January 2018 singed Executive Order No. 8 (EO8), which directed the BPU – and all agencies with responsibility under the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA) – to “take all necessary action” fully implement OWEDA and begin the process of moving New Jersey towards a goal of 3,500 MW of offshore wind energy generation by 2030.
The solicitation of 1,100 MW is the first step in meeting that 2030 goal, the report said. The BPU in September 2018 opened a solicitation for 1,100 MW of offshore wind generation; that solicitation closed on Dec. 28, 2018, and applications were received from three offshore wind developers. The report added that the solicitation will establish the first elements of New Jersey’s offshore wind supply chain and set the stage for future solicitations.
Discussing 2018 EO8 accomplishments, the report noted, for instance, that Ramboll US Corporation and its team of consultants, BVG Associates, Stantec, Rutgers University, and InGroup – collectively referred to as the Ramboll Team – have provided expertise and support to the IATF, including establishing the decision-making framework for moving forward in consultation with stakeholders and strategic partners. The Ramboll Team advised the BPU on the parameters and timing of the solicitation for 1,100 MW, as well as on the full solicitation schedule needed to reach 3,500 MW by 2030, the report said.
Murphy called for the BPU to consider two future solicitations for 1,200 MW of offshore wind generation, to take place in 2020 and 2022, the report noted.
Several IATF member agencies have undertaken research within their respective disciplines, which will inform the Ramboll Team’s modeling in support of the Offshore Wind Strategic Plan, the report said. For instance, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has conducted literature reviews, as well as technical and geospatial analyses, related to the potential environmental impacts of offshore wind development.
Furthermore, the report added, to spur industry investments, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) issued a request for ideas (RFI) last year seeking information from qualified entities with perspectives on the development of New Jersey’s offshore wind port infrastructure and supply chain.
This year, the report said, EDA opened applications for its Offshore Wind Tax Credit Program, which is intended to attract investment into the state’s offshore wind industry.
Of the outreach to New Jersey’s fishing industry regarding the New York Bight, the report noted that the U.S. offshore wind industry and New Jersey offshore wind lease holders have taken note of the state’s position regarding fisheries, resulting in the announcement this year of key initiatives to work collaboratively with the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) and other fisheries stakeholders.
New Jersey has also met with such states as New York, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, the report said, adding that those discussions aid in outlining issues related to the integration of offshore wind projects into the onshore power grid, as well as the protection, use, and development of shared ocean resources.
During 1Q19, New Jersey will convene roundtable discussions focused upon key assets and issues of interest to offshore wind development, the report said, noting that meeting topics include environmental protection, fisheries, wholesale energy markets, transmission, supply chain and workforce development, as well as ports and harbors.
Among other things, the report noted that LWD is establishing an Industry Partnerships program, which is LWD’s new model for building sector partnerships that facilitate business-government collaborations to meet workforce and economic challenges.