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NJ Sets New Record With 2.7 GW Offshore Wind Award

ocean wind
Ocean Wind II (Orsted)

Published Jun 30, 2021 5:24 PM by The Maritime Executive

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has awarded nearly 2.7 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity to EDF/Shell’s Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind and Ørsted’s Ocean Wind II. It is the largest combined award yet issued by a U.S. state. 

According to the board, the winners have committed to building new manufacturing facilities at the New Jersey Wind Port, using a foundation manufacturing facility at the Port of Paulsboro and hiring tens of thousands of workers. Each project also includes a commitment to build a nacelle assembly facility at the New Jersey Wind Port. The nacelle contains the turbine's moving parts, and it is the highest value-add offshore wind component. Atlantic Shores plans to partner with MHI Vestas for this facility, and Ocean Wind will collaborate with GE. Additional benefits include a green hydrogen pilot facility connected to Atlantic Shores and a truck electrification pilot project at Port Newark for Ocean Wind. 

"Today’s action . . . makes this the largest state competitive solicitation award to date, committing the state to sourcing more than 2,600 megawatts (MW) from offshore wind projects, enough to power 1.15 million homes," said Laura Morton, senior director for policy at industry group American Clean Power. "Developing these projects will not only create jobs but will revitalize coastal communities and deliver vast amounts of reliable clean energy to the region."

Taken together, Atlantic Shores and Ocean Wind II will create 7,000 full and or part time jobs over the course of the development, construction and operational phases of the projects. Some of these jobs will last longer than others, but overall the opportunity equates to about 56,000 job-years. They will also generate $3.5 billion in economic benefits, and the developers will donate $10,000 per megawatt ($26 million) to R&D and fish and wildlife monitoring efforts. 

"Expanding New Jersey’s offshore wind industry is a major component of achieving our goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050, while providing significant opportunities and economic benefits for our state," said Governor Phil Murphy. "By leveraging a whole-of-government approach and the strengths of our state, this award ensures that our investment in clean energy is also an investment in our communities, and will generate good-paying, union jobs and bring valuable investments to New Jersey. Today’s award, which is the nation’s largest combined award to date, further solidifies New Jersey as an offshore wind supply chain hub and leader in the offshore wind industry in the United States.”  

In order to bring the power from future offshore wind farms back to shore, NJBPU is also engaged in a first-of-its-kind transmission solicitation managed by regional grid operator PJM Interconnection. The solicitation seeks ready-to-build options for an open access transmission system that can deliver offshore wind energy to the existing grid.