The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously on Thursday to approve the state’s second offshore wind project by appointing two developers to produce 2,658 megawatts of power offshore, enough to power 1.15 million homes.
The project will be shared between two companies: Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind LLC, a partnership between Shell New Energies US and EDF Renewables North America; and Ocean Wind 2 LLC, a subsidiary of Ørsted.
Officials said it was the largest offshore wind project announced in the United States
The state’s first project was awarded in June 2019 and is currently undergoing a federal environmental review. It is due to be built next year by the Danish multinational Ørsted and PSEG, and is expected to start producing electricity in 2024. It will be 1,100 megawatts in size, enough to power around 500,000 homes.
BPU President Joseph Fiordaliso called the award of the second project, known as the Solicitation, “an exciting day for New Jersey.” He cited the current extreme weather conditions in the West, as well as sweltering temperatures on the East Coast, as examples of climate change and the need to act quickly on renewables.
“When it comes to tackling climate change,” Fiordaliso said, “doing nothing is not an option”.
Officials say offshore wind will also generate billions for the state’s economy.
The two companies have committed to using two facilities under construction: a specially designed wind area at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal in Gloucester County; and the New Jersey wind port at Lower Alloways Creek in Salem County.
They also agreed to fund $ 26 million for wildlife research and fish monitoring in the area, and pledged to build a pod assembly facility at the wind port. The nacelle houses the components that convert the energy from the rotating blades into electrical energy and is a valuable component.
here’s how the project breaks down:
Atlantic coasts will install an array of wind turbines capable of producing 1,510 megawatts and will be located approximately 10.5 miles off the coast between Atlantic City and Barnegat Light. It is expected to launch in two phases in 2027 and 2028. The company will partner with MHI Vesta to build its share of a pod installation.
It will also include a “green hydrogen” pilot installation. The direct and indirect economic benefits to New Jersey are expected to total $ 1.689 billion.
Ocean wind 2, at 1,148 megawatts, will be built adjacent to the Ørsted Ocean Wind 1 project approximately 13.8 miles off the coast of Atlantic City. It is expected to be operational in three phases from 2028 to 2029. The company has also pledged to provide funds to complete the development of the Paulsboro terminal and will work with GE on a nacelle installation.
It will also build an assembly plant with General Electric at Wind Port as well as a pilot truck electrification project in Port Newark. Officials expect it to have direct and indirect economic benefits of $ 1.657 billion.
The two new projects will create around 7,000 “high-quality jobs” statewide, officials said.
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In total, the state’s ambitious offshore wind plan under Governor Phil Murphy calls for more demands to reach its goal of 7,500 megawatts of energy by 2035, enough to power 3.2 million homes. Murphy has set a goal of supplying the state with 100% clean energy by 2050.
“Today’s award, which is the largest combined award in the country to date,” said Murphy, “further consolidates New Jersey as a hub of the offshore wind supply chain and leader in the industry. offshore wind industry in the United States. “
Indeed, officials are optimistic that the Paulsboro and Salem facilities will not only become fully-completed wind turbine manufacturing facilities, but also the key to the offshore wind supply chain for the East Coast.
“We are delighted to move forward with our project and consolidate our commitment to providing clean, renewable energy and well-paying jobs to the Garden State for years to come,” said Joris Veldhoven, Director commercial and financial at Atlantic Shores. “As offshore wind gears up for take off in the United States, this is a critical time to lay the groundwork for workforce training and supply chain development.”
Veldhoven said the Atlantic Shores project includes initiatives to train local workers and create jobs in the manufacturing sector.
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David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America, said that with the BPU vote, “… New Jersey is now firmly at the heart of the US offshore wind industry. “
Hardy said Ørsted has already set up a $ 15 million trust to ensure women and minority-owned businesses are represented in Ocean Wind 1. The company will now allocate an additional $ 8 million and include veteran-owned companies seeking to enter the offshore wind industry.
Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey and advocate for offshore wind, said he was pleasantly surprised by the scale of the solicitation, which was higher than expected by observers.
“In the midst of a heat wave, now is the perfect time for the NJBPU to double offshore wind power and expand New Jersey’s commitment to a clean, renewable energy future,” O’Malley said.
Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, said the BPU vote “will help tackle the climate crisis” and “create thousands of good middle class jobs that cannot be outsourced.” .
Although BPU commissioner Dianne Solomon voted in favor of the project, she urged caution, saying it is too early to estimate the tariffs residents or businesses will pay for electricity generated by the offshore wind, especially when the cost of transmission and other necessary upgrades have to be taken into account.
“I caution that we should be aware of the ever increasing costs of energy in New Jersey,” Solomon said.