Two New NJ Offshore Wind Projects Are Coming
In a decision that stirred mixed sentiments, the State Board of Public Utilities recently announced contracts for two significant wind energy projects off the New Jersey Coast during its Jan. 24 meeting.
Leading Light Wind secured contracts for 2.4 gigawatts of capacity, while Attentive Energy was granted contracts for approximately 1.3 gigawatts. Both projects are expected to be completed by 2032.
Leading Light Wind’s project will be positioned over 40 miles off the coast of Atlantic City, and Attentive Energy, a joint venture of TotalEnergies and Corio Generation, will undertake the Attentive Energy Two project about 40 miles off the coast of Seaside Heights.
These developments bring New Jersey closer to its goal of reaching 4 gigawatts of capacity from the third-round solicitation of lease bids, aligning with the state’s broader ambition of achieving 11 gigawatts from offshore wind power by 2040.
These awards mark the first major advancements since the state experienced a setback of 2.2 gigawatts of projected capacity due to the withdrawal of the Danish firm Orsted from two wind farm commitments off the southern Jersey coast. The fate of the Orsted farm locations remains uncertain.
These wind energy projects are also adding over $60 million to environmental and fisheries research, monitoring, and conservation efforts. This comprehensive approach underscores the state’s commitment to delivering value for ratepayers while prioritizing environmental and fishing interests.
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Governor Phil Murphy has directed the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) to expedite the state’s fourth offshore wind solicitation, with anticipated project awards in early 2025.
In a press release, Governor Murphy emphasized that the “Third Solicitation awards are undeniable proof that the future of offshore wind in New Jersey is as strong as ever,” highlighting the state’s global allure for top developers.
However, these new projects have not been met without significant opposition and skepticism.
Critics argue that offshore wind initiatives have been linked to a notable increase in sea mammal fatalities, negative impacts on the commercial fishing industry, potential navigation difficulties, and unknown effects on electricity ratepayers.
These concerns have fueled a brewing controversy surrounding the state’s commitment to these ventures.
Given that one of these recent projects is situated in North Jersey, any opposition that arises will bring concerns closer to Murphy’s doorstep.
What do you think of the new NJ Offshore Wind Projects?