An offshore wind farm is coming to New Jersey. Finally.
Friday, the state Board of Public Utilities announced it has selected Ocean Wind, an offshore wind energy project proposed by Ørsted with support from Public Service Enterprise Group, to develop an 1,100 MW offshore wind farm.
Ørsted and PSEG officials say the farm will power more than half a million New Jersey homes and will contribute significantly to Gov. Phil Murphy’s ambitious renewable energy goal of supplying more than 1.5 million New Jersey homes with offshore wind power by 2030.
Construction on Ocean Wind, which will be located 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City, is expected to start in the early 2020s, with the wind farm operational in 2024, the parties said. At 1,100 MW, Ocean Wind is expected to create over 3000 direct jobs annually through development and three-year construction cycle.
Ørsted will work with PSEG’s non-utility affiliates, which will provide energy management services and potential lease of land for use in the project development and execution phase.
PSEG, which serves 2.2 million electric customers in the state and has a long development partnership with Ørsted , has an option to become an equity investor in the Ocean Wind project.
“Today’s announcement firmly establishes a fast-growing global industry in New Jersey, which will create jobs and supply chain in the state,” Thomas Brostrom, CEO of Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind and president of Ørsted North America, said in a release.
The battle to get approval for wind energy in the state has been fought for many years. Brostrom said today’s news is good news for the state long term.
“Ocean Wind will ensure that the state and its residents not only benefit from clean, renewable power, but that they reap the rewards of being an early player in the offshore wind industry as it grows in the U.S,” he said.
Ralph LaRossa, president and chief operating officer of PSEG Power, shared Brostrom’s enthusiasm.
“We are pleased that Ocean Wind has been selected by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to provide offshore wind power to the residents of New Jersey,” he said in a statement. “We have pledged our commitment and support of Gov. Phil Murphy’s clean energy agenda and we know that offshore wind will play an important role in providing environmental and economic benefits to New Jersey.”
In addition to powering homes and businesses across New Jersey, Ocean Wind will also bring significant investments to New Jersey, Ørsted officials said.
Ørsted will launch its Pro-NJ Trust fund in Cape May and Atlantic counties which will invest up to $15 million in grants to support local infrastructure investments and to support small, women, and minority-owned business owners who wish to become part of the emerging offshore wind industry.
Ørsted is also proceeding with plans to establish an Operation and Maintenance base in Atlantic City that will provide permanent, high-skilled jobs during the 25 plus years of lifespan of the project.
As part of its community relations outreach efforts, Ocean Wind will work with JINGOLI through the company’s Competitive Edge and Live Classroom programs that will identify and train Atlantic City residents and students who are interested in working in wind farm construction or in one of the permanent positions that will become available when the project is completed.
Ocean Wind presented a number of creative and significant initiatives within its bid document, that now awarded, will start in motion – beginning with the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the South Jersey Building and Construction Trades Council in December, calling for a Project Labor Agreement for offshore wind construction jobs that pay prevailing wage.
New Jersey has tremendous assets in its academic institutions and Ørsted already has signed MOUs with Rutgers, Stockton, and Rowan Universities. Working with each of these universities, Ocean Wind will continue to support academic research, engineering programs and initiatives to further advance undergraduate and graduate students’ knowledge of the offshore wind industry.