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Orsted Signs First Lease for Staging Area at NJ Offshore Wind Port

New Jersey Offshore Wind Port under construction (NJEDA)
New Jersey Offshore Wind Port under construction (NJEDA)

Published Jul 30, 2023 2:43 PM by The Maritime Executive

Orsted has signed the first sublet agreement for space at the New Jersey Offshore Wind Port, a newly-developed heavy lift port site for staging offshore wind turbines for installation. 

Orsted will rent 34 acres at the port site and will employ up to 200 people there over the span of its two-year, $25 million lease. The site will support Orsted's massive Ocean Wind 1 project. 

“Ørsted’s decision to marshal its Ocean Wind 1 project from the New Jersey Wind Port will create 200 jobs that would otherwise have gone to other states, and is the first of many projects that will use the Port in the years and decades ahead," said New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) CEO Tim Sullivan in a statement. 

The agreement finalizes a long-anticipated lease deal. Orsted first submitted a non-binding offer to sublet in December 2020, and it agreed to a more formal letter of intent in April 2022. The two parties have been discussing terms for the past year and have settled on a final value for the lease. 

Ocean Wind 1 is a large offshore wind farm proposal located about 13 nautical miles off the coast of Middle Township, New Jersey, towards the state's southernmost tip. At full buildout it will have a capacity of 2.2 GW, making it the largest offshore wind farm in the United States and the largest producer of wind power (onshore or off) in New Jersey. 

The project was a joint venture between Orsted and New Jersey utility company PSEG until January, when PSEG sold its 25 percent stake and the development became solely owned by Orsted. 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) approved Ocean Wind 1's construction and operations plan earlier this month, clearing away the final permitting hurdle before putting steel in the water.  

Just after the federal approval, the state of New Jersey enacted legislation that will allow Orsted to keep tax credits that would have been passed along to ratepayers. The new law improves the project's financial footing but raising costs for the consumer, and has attracted controversy - and at least one lawsuit

“If we don't figure out a solution, this doesn't get done in New Jersey,” Gov. Phil Murphy told media after a signing ceremony July 6. “We know war in Europe, inflation, supply chain — these projects have gotten a lot more expensive, and we're not the only place that's dealing with that. Either we get this bill done and the industry thrives here, and the jobs that are associated with it, or it goes somewhere else.”