The New Jersey wind project is one of two named in an ongoing patent battle between GE Renewable Energy and Siemens Gamesa because it is contracted to use GE’s disputed Haliade-X wind turbine.
In an earnings call with analysts on October 31, PSEG said that it is deciding whether to exit Ocean Wind 1. PSEG currently owns 25% of the project while the developer Ørsted owns 75%.
In September, a judge at the US District Court in Boston imposed a permanent injunction on US imports, sales or installations of the flagship Haliade-X after a jury found that it infringed a Siemens Gamesa patent. GE is appealing the permanent injunction.
A ‘carve-out’ from the permanent injunction is expected for Ocean Wind 1 as well as Vineyard Wind 1, a project off Massachusetts. The projects would be allowed to use the disputed Haliade-X, but a royalty would have to be paid.
Siemens Gamesa is proposing a $90,000/installed MW royalty for Ocean Wind 1 while GE is seeking a third of that, in line with the royalty already imposed for Vineyard 1. The judge has yet to rule.
In an earnings statement released on October 31, Ralph LaRossa, chief executive of PSEG said: “Regarding the Ocean Wind 1 project in New Jersey, PSEG's continuation as an equity owner is subject to its final investment decision, which represents the decision to proceed to the construction phase of the project. We are reviewing our options regarding the status of PSEG's 25% equity investment in the project.”
PSEG declined to comment on whether the patent dispute would be a factor if it decided to sell its stake in the project.
An Ørsted spokesperson told Windpower Monthly: "We’re aware of PSEG’s decision and will remain in close coordination with them as they advance their thinking as it relates to their equity investment.”
The spokesperson added: "The US District Court of Massachusetts has ruled that Ocean Wind 1, due to its progressed status, is exempt from the dispute between Siemens Gamesa and GE. We are pleased with the ruling, as it allows us to take an important step forward in advancing Ocean Wind 1 on schedule.”