N.J. regulators approve use of GE Haliade-12 MW turbine for offshore wind project

Ocean Wind on Oct. 2 submitted a petition to the board seeking authorization to replace the wind turbine generator (WTG) used as the design basis in its application with the GE Haliade 12 MW WTG, noting that that WTG is, for instance, well suited to the conditions of the project site

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, in a Nov. 13 order, approved Ocean Wind, LLC’s use of the GE Haliade-12 MW wind turbine generator (WTG) for its 1,100-MW project.

As TransmissionHub reported, the board, in a June 21 order, approved the Ocean Wind 1,100-MW project, which was proposed by Ørsted and PSEG Renewable Generation LLC in response to the board’s solicitation for 1,100 MW of offshore wind (OSW) capacity in furtherance of Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order No. 8.

As noted in the Nov. 13 order, in its original application to the board, Ocean Wind provided the necessary information on its turbine selection for its proposed design basis, but also stated that “…Ocean Wind has not made a final WTG selection, and other suppliers are under consideration.”

The board said that Ocean Wind further indicated that one of the other suppliers under consideration was the GE Haliade-12 MW WTG. Throughout the evaluation process, Ocean Wind maintained that it wished to reserve the right to select a different WTG than the one used for the design basis, based on the results of ongoing due diligence and technical feasibility studies.

Ocean Wind on Oct. 2 submitted a petition to the board seeking authorization to replace the WTG used as the design basis in its application with the GE Haliade 12 MW WTG, noting that that WTG is well suited to the conditions of the project site; will not have any material effect on the project’s permitting process and schedule; will produce a higher level of annual energy output than the design basis turbine; will not have any material adverse effect on the leveled net offshore wind renewable energy certificate (OREC) or annual costs to ratepayers; will not have any material adverse effect on the project’s economic development benefits; and will not delay the proposed commercial operations date (COD).

The board added that in response to its staff’s clarifying questions, Ocean Wind provided supplemental information, including that:

  • The change to the GE Haliade 12 MW WTG showed an increase in capital expenditures (CAPEX) and a decrease in operating expenditures (OPEX), as well as decommissioning cost estimates compared to the estimates submitted by Ocean Wind in its December 2018 application
  • As a result of the larger WTG and the higher capacity factor of the GE Haliade 12 MW WTG, project revenues are expected to increase
  • The number of turbines will be reduced
  • A view shed analysis conducted by a consultant to Ocean Wind shows that the increased turbine size will have no material effect on the view shed
  • There will be no negative impact on project financing, port needs, or interconnection requirements

The board said that it finds that Ocean Wind’s use of the GE Haliade 12 MW WTG will:

  • Be better than or equal to the previously proposed turbine used in Ocean Wind’s original design basis
  • Not have any material adverse effect on the project’s permitting process and schedule
  • Not have any adverse effect on the leveled net cost of OREC or annual costs to New Jersey ratepayers, and that ratepayers will benefit from increased revenues that will be returned to ratepayers
  • Likely result in equivalent, reduced, or a negligible change in environmental impacts, especially during construction, since fewer foundations would require fewer physical disturbances to the ocean floor and fewer array cables to bury in the ocean floor

The board also noted that Ocean Wind is still bound by the OREC pricing schedule set forth in the June order approving the 1,100-MW project, as well as all additional terms and conditions, including the total annual OREC allowance of 4,851,489 MWh per year.

The BPU said in its June order that the Ocean Wind project offers a first year OREC price at $98.10/MWh and a levelized OREC price of $116.82/MWh; the levelized Net OREC Cost (LNOC) is $46.46/MWh. LAI estimated that the ratepayer impacts on a monthly bill are $1.46 for residential customers; $13.05 for commercial customers; and $110.10 for industrial customers once the project is operational.