New Jersey governor unveils portal to enhance state's offshore wind supply chain
- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, D, announced on Tuesday the creation of a free online state portal to match investors in offshore wind projects with New Jersey-based partners and suppliers, at the Business Network for Offshore Wind's International Partnering Forum in New York City.
- The New Jersey Offshore Wind Supply Chain Registry, currently in beta mode, has 22 companies listed, from marine support to workforce development, including offshore wind developers Vineyard Wind and Fishermen's Energy. The registry is meant to support New Jersey's offshore wind solicitations and provide free access to industry-reviewed suppliers based in the state.
- Offshore wind is central, the governor said, to reaching the state's 50% renewable portfolio standard by 2030, which Murphy signed into law last May. Murphy also set an ambitious 2,000 MW energy storage target by 2030 and updated policies on community solar and energy efficiency.
Murphy is bullish on advancing renewable technology like offshore wind, in contrast with Gov. Chris Christie's, R, administration, which vetoed several clean energy bills, including a bill that supported the development of small offshore wind projects.
"As I said a year ago, we have a lot of lost time to make up for," Murphy told the conference, noting a 2010 state plan to create an offshore wind marketplace. "That was just one of many oversights from our prior administration that has stymied our progress as a state, not just on offshore wind in particular, I might add, but within the renewable energy sphere in general."
The initiative aims to create new opportunities to integrate local businesses into the offshore wind supply chain.
State regulators worked with agencies including the Offshore Wind Task Force and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA) Office of Economic Transformation to expand New Jersey-based connections with the offshore wind industry. The registry aims to create a comprehensive list of companies based in New Jersey that national and international partners can work with as they invest in the state's offshore wind market.
NJEDA set a goal to build up the registry to more than 650 New Jersey-based companies by mid-August, according to NJEDA senior vice president Brian Sabina. The data will also be added to the Business Network for Offshore Wind's national supply chain registry.
"New Jersey’s proactive approach to establishing this portal will set an example for the rest of the country of how to build a robust wind economy that benefits local businesses and workers," Liz Burdock, CEO and president of the nonprofit organization Business Network for Offshore Wind, said in a statement.
New Jersey expects a flurry of offshore wind development in federal waters as it aspires to use 100% clean energy by 2050. The state's Board of Public Utilities (BPU) opened the largest single-state solicitation for offshore wind in September, for 1,100 MW of capacity, as part of the governor's 3,500 MW of offshore wind by 2030 goal.
The BPU is scheduled to award the 1,100 MW offshore wind solicitation by June 30.
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