The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved an order opening an application window for 1.1 GW of offshore wind capacity. The move is the first step in meeting the state’s goal of 3.5 GW of offshore wind by 2030.
The vote occurred days after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy called on the board to open two additional 1.2-GW solicitations of offshore wind capacity – one in 2020 and another in 2022 – in order to achieve his vision of 100% clean energy in the state by 2050.
“In the span of just nine months, New Jersey has vaulted to the front of the pack in establishing this cutting-edge industry,” said Governor Murphy. “We campaigned on rebuilding New Jersey’s reputation as a clean energy leader and that involves setting an aggressive timetable on offshore wind. Thanks to the board, we have taken another enormous step toward realising that goal with the largest single-state solicitation of offshore wind in the country.”
The board’s action will allow developers seeking to build offshore wind facilities in federal waters to submit applications for approval. The application window begins on 20 September 2018 and closes on 28 December 2018. The board intends to act on the applications by 1 July 2019, which should provide sufficient time for developers to qualify for federal investment tax credits that expire at the end of next year. These credits could save New Jersey ratepayers approximately 12% of the total project cost.
The board will issue a guidance document as part of the release of the order to help developers calculate net economic benefits. The document also provides the formats to be used to submit the information required under the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act, the evaluation criteria and the solicitation schedule. The timeline provides key dates including a technical bidder’s conference.