February 1 (Renewables Now) - New Jersey on Wednesday announced a target for the procurement of 3.5 GW of offshore wind power capacity by 2030 and the start of work towards that goal.
With an executive order signed yesterday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy directs the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to fully implement the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA), which was adopted in 2010 but was so far not applied effectively.
“Little progress has been made on offshore wind development in New Jersey despite a pledge from the previous administration to facilitate our growth of offshore wind,” the Governor said.
The state will devise a scheme for approving offshore wind projects under the Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credit (OREC) programme, and will then launch a solicitation, led by the Board of Public Utilities (BPU), targeting 1.1 GW of offshore wind parks. In the meantime, the agency will collaborate with the Department of Environmental Protection to create an Offshore Wind Strategic Plan for New Jersey that will address “critical components of offshore wind development.” Those will include boosting employment, workforce development, data collection, appropriate determination of facilities and the protection of natural resources.
The goal is to support the expansion of New Jersey’s offshore wind industry and cut the state’s reliance on fossil fuels, Murphy said. Collaboration on offshore wind with neighboring states will also be discussed.
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management held the first commercial wind lease auction in New Jersey back in 2015. It then awarded a lease to RES Americas Developments Inc, which was later bought by Danish energy company Ørsted A/S (CPH:ORSTED), for a 1-GW wind project. US Wind has also won a lease for a roughly 1.5-GW wind farm.