United States

United States

New Jersey sets out offshore procurement schedule

With currently zero operating offshore wind capacity, New Jersey has set an aggressive procurement schedule to reach its target of 7.5GW by 2035. But there are concerns over a lack of additional planning for the influx of the new generation.

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy
New Jersey governor Phil Murphy

A first 1.2GW tender will be launched by September this year, with the award made in the second quarter of 2021. 

Governor Phil Murphy has also announced further request for proposals (RfP) will take place every two years between 2022 and 2028. 

Murphy ordered the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to take all necessary actions to implement the schedule. 

He said the solicitation schedule demonstrates the state’s commitment to offshore wind and to “ensure economic growth for New Jersey”.

Ørsted is already in line to develop New Jersey’s first offshore wind project, having been named preferred bidder last June of a 20-year contract for its 1.1GW Ocean Wind project. 

Concerns remain

New Jersey is the first state to lay out its timeline and demonstrate how it will achieve its objectives for the sector, said Business Network for Offshore Wind (BNOW), an industry group. 

The state has a goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050. 

Liz Burdock, BNOW president and CEO, welcomed the news but said questions remain.

“We are concerned the state does not currently have a long-term comprehensive plan for working with utilities, regional transmission organisations (RTOs) and other grid experts to ensure that the state’s energy systems are ready for the massive gigawatts of power that will be generated off the New Jersey shoreline starting in 2024,” Burdock said. 

Grid and transmission planning is key to ensuring the steady growth of the US offshore wind industry in the long-term, she added. 

“We only have a few years to modernise and increase the capacity of the onshore grid to handle the double task of the electrification of transportation and the greatly increased generation of clean energy from offshore wind and solar,” Burdock noted. 

Murphy’s office admitted there is a “number of factors that could influence the timing and the quantity to be procured, including transmission solutions and development schedule, the status of additional lease areas, permitting, port readiness, establishment of a supply chain, workforce training and cost trends”.

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