July 22, 2020
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) issued the draft “Solicitation Guidance Document” for its second offshore wind solicitation and scheduled a virtual public meeting to accept public input on the document. The document includes information on the timeline and mechanisms of the second solicitation, the application requirements and the criteria for evaluating applications.
While the first offshore wind solicitation was for 1,100 MW of energy, this second one will move the state closer to meeting Gov. Phil Murphy’s goal of 7,500 MW of offshore wind energy development by 2035 by considering a larger range of 1,200 to 2,400 MW.
“Using lessons learned from our first successful solicitation of 1,100 MW, we are very excited to move forward with our second offshore wind solicitation which could bring the state up to a total of 3,500 MW of offshore wind energy,” said Joseph Fiordaliso, NJBPU president. “Offshore wind is the linchpin of our clean energy program and will help us reach Gov. Murphy’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2050, build an innovation economy and combat the impacts of climate changes.”
The virtual public meeting will take place on August 5, 2020 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. The meeting will consist of a brief presentation by NJBPU staff recapping New Jersey’s offshore wind goals and activities to date, as well as background on the requirements of the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA) and Murphy’s Executive Orders No. 8 and No. 92. A presentation summarizing the content of the draft Second Solicitation Guidance Document and public comment will follow.
The current timeline in the draft Second Solicitation Guidance Document anticipates the NJBPU will consider the second solicitation at a board meeting in September 2020. Applications would then be accepted in December 2020 with a final decision by the board in June 2021.
Murphy signed Executive Order No. 8 in January 2018 which directed NJBPU and all agencies with responsibility under the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act to “take all necessary action” to fully implement OWEDA and begin the process of moving New Jersey toward a goal of 3,500 MW of offshore wind energy generation by the year 2030. The order also required an initial solicitation of 1,100 MW as the first step toward achieving the goal and required the development of an Offshore Wind Strategic Plan.
In June 2019, NJBPU approved an application for a 1,100 MW offshore wind generation project submitted by Ocean Wind. The development of this project is currently underway, and it’s anticipated that it will be operating in 2024.
In November 2019, Murphy signed Executive Order No. 92 which increased the state’s offshore wind energy generation goal to 7,500 MW by 2035. In February 2020 the governor announced the offshore wind solicitation schedule to meet the 7,500 MW goal by 2035.
In addition to the virtual meeting, NJBPU welcomes written comments on the Second Solicitation Guidance Document by August 19, 2020 at 5 p.m.