New Jersey Selects Two Offshore Wind Farms to Reinvigorate Energy Plans

offshore wind farm
New Jersey selected two projects in its latest round as it looks to reinvigorate the offshore efforts (file photo)

Published Jan 24, 2024 4:30 PM by The Maritime Executive


New Jersey state regulators today announced the results of the state’s third offshore wind solicitation calling the awards the largest in the state’s efforts to launch offshore wind into its plans for clean energy. The state is looking to accelerate its approval process to restart the industry after Ørsted set back the efforts by pulling out of the approved Ocean Wind 1 and 2 projects citing the changed economics of the developments.

“Today’s Third Solicitation awards are undeniable proof that the future of offshore wind in New Jersey is as strong as ever,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. He had previously laid out a plan calling for aggressive development of the industry to reach 11 GW of offshore wind power generation by 2040.

The governor directed state officials to accelerate their efforts after Ørsted announced at the end of October 2023 that it had ceased development of the two-stage project which was to consist of sites generating 1,100 MW and 1,148 MW. The company said the projects had experienced significant impacts from macroeconomic factors, including high inflation, rising interest rates, and supply chain constraints, particularly a vessel delay on Ocean Wind 1 that considerably impacted project timing. Ørsted is retaining the federal seabed leases.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities awarded a total of 3,742 MW today in the form of two projects largely recouping its position but extending the timeline to realize power from the offshore wind assets. Today’s selections are not expected to come online until 2031 and 2032, a significant delay from Ocean Wind 1 which received its final federal approvals last October and was projecting starting to generate power in 2025 and completing commissioning in 2026. Ocean Wind 2 was still in the permitting process when it was canceled. Construction had been projected to start in 2028.

The first of the two selected projects is called Leading Light. It would be located off southern New Jersey and being developed by a partnership between Invenergy and energyRe. It will be approximately 40 miles east of Long Beach Island and will consist of up to 100 turbines generating approximately 2.4 GW. Offshore construction is projected to begin in 2028 with the project fully commissioned in 2031.

The second selected project is the second phase of Attentive Energy, with a 1.3 GW project planned by TotalEnergies and Corio Generation. It will be over 40 miles offshore from Seaside Heights in central New Jersey. It would be commissioned by 2032 powering approximately 600,000 homes. Attentive Energy One located between New Jersey and New York will be sending an additional 400 MW of power to New York.

New Jersey had previously approved one other project, Atlantic Shores. A partnership between Shell New Energies US and EDF Renewables North America, it has a lease area located approximately 10 to 20 miles off the coast of New Jersey between Atlantic City and Barnegat Light. In June of 2021, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities awarded Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind a contract to develop 1,510 MW in offshore wind energy, enough to power up to over 700,000 homes. After Ørsted withdrew its projects, the CEO of Atlantic Shores issued a statement reiterating its commitment to the project.

Officials are highlighting that the two projects selected today have both committed to supporting the establishment of a tower manufacturer to be located at the NJ Wind Port, a redevelopment site in Salem Country, New Jersey. The two projects plan O&M facilities in New Jersey and are committed to marshaling both projects at the NJ Wind Port. They will also invest to expand the monopile capacity and engineering to increase the tonnage limit per monopile.

Governor Murphy has also instructed the regulators to accelerate the state’s next offshore wind solicitation. They anticipate awards in early 2025 from the fourth round solicitation.