September 18 (Renewables Now) - The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) on Monday approved an order to open a solicitation for 1.1 GW of offshore wind power capacity in federal lease areas.
Interested parties will be able to submit bids in the application window between September 20 and December 28, 2018. In an official statement, NJBPU said it intends to “act on the applications” by July 1, 2019, thus enabling developers to qualify for federal investment tax credits expiring at end-2019.
The 1.1-GW competition will be the largest single-state offshore wind solicitation in the US, to be held in line with New Jersey’s 3.5-GW offshore wind target by 2030 and a goal to become a 100% clean energy state by 2050. It was approved a few days after Governor Phil Murphy called on for the opening of two 1.2-GW offshore wind solicitations in the state, in 2020 and 2022, respectively.
The NJBPU will issue a guidance document to help developers calculate the net economic benefits, as well as project assessment criteria and the exact schedule of the competition.
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 a recent market update by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the US offshore wind industry has accumulated a pipeline of projects totalling 25.46 GW, including 1.3 GW added last year.