BPU OKs unprecedented Murphy request for offshore wind capacity

white wind turbine generating electricity on sea

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved Gov. Phil Murphy’s order to accept applications for 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind capacity — the largest single push by any state.

The announcement comes after Murphy’s presentation last week in San Francisco at the Global Climate Action Summit, in which he reiterated his goals of making New Jersey a 100 percent clean energy state by 2050.

File photo
Board of Public Utilities President Joseph Fiordaliso.

“In the absence of strong leadership at the federal level, states are taking it upon themselves to combat climate change, and I’m proud to say that New Jersey is leading that charge,” Murphy said last week.

In a statement Monday, he applauded the BPU’s approval of the goal.

“In the span of just nine months, New Jersey has vaulted to the front of the pack in establishing this cutting-edge industry. We campaigned on rebuilding New Jersey’s reputation as a clean energy leader, and that involves setting an aggressive timetable on offshore wind. Thanks to the board, today we took another enormous step toward realizing that goal with the largest single-state solicitation of offshore wind in the country,” Murphy said.

The BPU will also determine how the state reaches 3,500 megawatts by 2030, with additional solicitations in 2020 and 2022.

“Today’s action marks an historic step in the implementation of Gov. Murphy’s clean energy agenda. Offshore wind energy will help drive down our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gases that cause climate change while creating jobs and providing a boost to the economy,” said BPU President Joseph Fiordaliso.

Time is of the essence now, as developers scramble to apply to provide capacity. The application window begins Thursday and ends Dec. 28, and the BPU will make its decisions by July 1 of next year. This gives applicants a chance to qualify for federal tax credits before they expire next year, according to the Murphy administration.