The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities announced Monday it is accepting applications for the state’s third offshore wind solicitation, with a goal of adding between 1.2 GW and 4 GW of offshore wind capacity.
The application window will be open until June 23. In two previous solicitations, New Jersey awarded contracts for three wind farms that would bring 3.75 GW to the state’s grid.
A news release from BPU said the third solicitation is a “significant milestone” in the state’s journey to bring 11 GW of offshore wind online by 2040.
BPU President Joseph Fiordaliso said that in addition to helping to decarbonize New Jersey, the solicitation will bolster the union workforce in the state.
New Jersey awarded its first solicitation to Ørsted in 2019 for the company’s 1.1-GW Ocean Wind project, and in its second solicitation in 2021 awarded the company again for the 1.1-GW Ocean Wind II project, as well awarding a contract to Shell and EDF Renewables North America to build the 1.5-GW Atlantic Shores project.
All three projects have yet to enter the construction phase. Ocean Wind I is in the permitting process, with Ørsted hoping to start construction this year or in early 2024. Atlantic Shores is also slated to begin construction in 2024, while Ørsted’s website says Ocean Wind II will not begin construction until 2028.
BPU laid out its plans to deploy 11 GW of offshore wind by 2040 in a guidance document it released with the solicitation announcement, estimating that the 3.75 GW already awarded will have all been brought online by 2029 at the latest.
The state plans to bring the remaining 7.25 GW online with a series of five solicitations over the next six years, with the seventh solicitation having an estimated commercial operation date of 2038.
BPU is also recommending that any projects awarded contracts in the third solicitation contribute funding to the state’s Research and Monitoring Initiative, which Atlantic Shores has committed approximately $26.5 million to in order to fund regional research on the impacts of offshore wind on New Jersey’s marine and coastal resources.