- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has signed an executive order to accelerate the development of offshore wind resources. The state has a goal of developing 3,500 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
- In 2010, New Jersey passed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA), but implementation lagged and developers have not obtained the necessary approvals from the state's Board of Public Utilities.
- The executive order directs the BPU to fully implement OWEDA. New Jersey's announcement comes just two days after New York published its own "master plan" for developing the offshore wind energy industry and reaching 2,400 MW of capacity by 2030.
While the industry has lagged in the United States, investment in offshore wind will accelerate as states set and work towards goals. Despite New Jersey's wind legislation being eight years old, however, there has been no development.
“Little progress has been made on offshore wind development in New Jersey despite a pledge from the previous administration to facilitate our growth of offshore wind,” Murphy said in a statement. “We cannot allow for stagnation in this growing sector of our energy economy."
Murphy's executive order directs the BPU to begin the rulemaking process to fully develop regulations governing the OREC program. The order also calls for development of an Offshore Wind Strategic Plan for New Jersey that will focus on "critical components" of the offshore industry, including workforce development, data collection, environmental protection and others areas.
The BPU will implement the OREC program by approving financial plans submitted by offshore wind developers. The order directs the agency to issue a solicitation for 1,100 MW of offshore wind, and directs the BPU to examine possible benefits of cooperating with other states in the region.
New Jersey and New York are the latest among states striving for ambitious offshore wind targets. In 2016, Massachusetts required the state’s electric distribution companies to procure 1,600 MW of offshore wind, and last month three developers submitted proposals for 400 MW, including Deepwater Wind, Bay State Wind and Vineyard Wind.