New Jersey moves forward with two offshore wind projects representing almost 3 GW of capacity

This week the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) announced it has selected Ocean Wind 2, an offshore wind energy project proposed by Ørsted, for a 20-year Offshore Renewable Energy Credit (OREC) award at the $84.03 price from the State’s second competitive solicitation for offshore wind energy. The NJBPU also awarded Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind a contract to develop 1,510-MW of offshore wind energy capacity.

Ocean Wind 2

At 1,148 MW, the Ocean Wind 2 project will allow Ørsted to develop the remaining portion of its Ocean Wind federal lease area and could power at least half a million New Jersey homes, according to Ørsted. The offshore wind farm will be located adjacent to the company’s first offshore wind project, Ocean Wind 1, which was awarded by the NJBPU in 2019. Ocean Wind 1 is being developed in partnership with Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), which owns 25% equity in the project.

As part of Ørsted ‘s proposal, Ocean Wind 2 will contribute to an expansion of the EEW Paulsboro monopile facility. The facility will be home to 500 full-time jobs and represents an investment of $250 million into southern New Jersey. Additionally, Ocean Wind 2 will generate over $4.8 billion in net economic benefits for the State of New Jersey, said Ørsted.

GE Nacelle Factory + EVs

Ørsted is also bringing a commitment from GE Renewables to locate what will be one of the country’s first offshore wind nacelle assembly facilities in New Jersey. This facility will assemble the nacelles for Ocean Wind 2 and other offshore wind projects in the United States. Anticipated to be located at the New Jersey Wind Port, the GE nacelle assembly facility could also attract sub-suppliers to the state and consequently more manufacturing jobs. Nacelles are one of the most complex parts of a wind turbine, including generator, drive train and brake assembly, controllers, transformer and switch gear.

Ocean Wind 2 also offers significant investments for New Jersey’s environmental justice communities. Ørsted has partnered with Zeem Solutions to roll out 50 electric drayage trucks, associated vehicle infrastructure and mobility training programs for area residents at the Port of Newark.  

Ocean Wind 2 will also establish a new 10-year $1.5 million scholarship and career development program with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) to create new opportunities for NJIT’s engineering and computer science undergraduate students. The agreement also addresses STEM education gaps for underrepresented students in Newark by aiming to expand a range of STEM outreach events, initiatives, and college-prep programming for local elementary, middle school and high school students at NJIT. Additionally, the scholarship program potentially creates new co-op, internship, and job opportunities for NJIT students at Ørsted’s recently announced North American Digital Operation Headquarters in Newark.

Atlantic Shores

In related news, Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind was awarded a contract to develop 1,510-MW of offshore wind capacity, the largest single project in New Jersey so far.

Atlantic Shores is a 50-50 joint venture between EDF Renewables North America and Shell New Energies US, and its lease area is located approximately 10-20 miles off the coast of New Jersey between Atlantic City and Barnegat Light. In total, the project will bring $848 million in local economic benefits to the state, said the developers.

“Thank you to the Board of Public Utilities for their thorough and well-run process. We are thrilled to be moving forward with our project and cementing our commitment to deliver clean, renewable power and well-paid jobs to the Garden State for years to come,” said Joris Veldhoven, Commercial and Finance Director at Atlantic Shores.

“As offshore wind prepares to take off in the United States, this is a critical moment to lay the groundwork for workforce training and supply chain development. Our robust project includes a number of essential initiatives to train local workers and bring manufacturing jobs to the state that will ensure New Jersey workers and the local economy reap tremendous benefits.”

Investments in Local Communities

Like Ocean Wind 2, the Atlantic Shores project, which aims to begin construction in 2024, includes a number of local investments and initiatives, including an agreement to train and hire local workers for the construction and maintenance of the wind project, an innovative 10-MW green hydrogen pilot with South Jersey Industries and support for the turbine nacelle assembly center to the New Jersey Wind Port named above.

Atlantic Shores’ project also includes a number of investments in New Jersey’s top academic institutions, including Rutgers University, Stockton University and Rowan College, to cultivate the next generation of industry leaders.

“Atlantic Shores has shown us again and again that they are committed to New Jersey communities, and this award cements that commitment for decades to come,” said Joseph Brodie, Offshore Wind Research Lead with the Rutgers University Center for Ocean Observing Leadership. “Our students and scientists benefit greatly from our partnership on cutting-edge environmental and ecological research in and around Atlantic Shores’ Lease Area. As the offshore wind industry takes off in our state, we hope to continue building our essential partnership to advance scientific understanding of the climate, renewable energy, animal migration, our marine ecosystem and more.”

Source: Renewable Energy