New Jersey BPU okays offshore wind plan, 1.1-GW solicitation

A picture from Cathie Associates visit to the US’ first commercial offshore wind farm; Block Island.

March 2 (Renewables Now) - The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has given its nod to a plan for a 1.1-GW offshore wind tender.

The competitive process was proposed by Governor Phil Murphy at the end of January as part of an overall objective for the deployment of 3.5 GW of wind power capacity off the state by 2030.

The approved order calls for the full implementation of New Jersey’s Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA), which was adopted in 2010, and the start of preparations for the solicitation, BPU said in a press release on Wednesday. Staff will engage offshore wind developers and stakeholders to determine the minimum requirements for the solicitation.

An interagency Offshore Wind Task Force will be set up with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and other state agencies to devise a strategic plan for offshore wind. The plan will aim to ensure competition, competitive pricing, net economic benefits, as well as “the best value for New Jersey ratepayers.”

BPU staff will also establish an appropriate funding mechanism for offshore wind renewable energy certficates (ORECs).

“[..] the Board will take the first step in Governor Murphy’s plan to move New Jersey toward 100% clean energy by 2050 and make New Jersey a national leader in offshore wind,” said Joseph L Fiordaliso, president of New Jersey BPU.

There are a number of offshore wind projects in the US in different stages of development and only one operational offshore wind farm -- the 30-MW Block Island five-turbine park that entered into service in December 2016. According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the global offshore wind capacity reached 18,814 MW in 2017, with the UK, Germany and China as the top three markets.

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Veselina Petrova is one of SeeNews Renewables most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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