A $25 billion German wind energy company, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, will be opening an office in Jersey City, the company announced with Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday in Hamburg.
The company is the third-largest energy company in Germany, based in Hamburg — which Murphy called the Boston of Germany — and is currently generating 13 gigawatts of wind energy.
The Jersey City office, slated to open at the end of 2018, will be the company’s U.S. base for operations in New York and New Jersey.
The company also started a project in California, but Holger Grubel, head of portfolio of development of offshore wind, said the Eastern seaboard is more promising for the company, since the characteristics of the area are familiar.
Murphy reiterated his goal to have New Jersey at 3.5 gigawatts by 2030, which he said will power more than 1 million homes.
“For every dollar we invest in wind energy, we return $2 in economic activity,” Murphy said.
Murphy anticipates the projects will bring work for 4,000 union jobs.
EnBW is searching for partners in the New Jersey and New York area to enter the wind energy sector on the East Coast.
That proves promising for companies like Public Service Enterprise Group, which already has a partnership with Deepwater Wind.
(PSEG Power President Ralph LaRossa, on the trip, discussed wind power on The ROI-NJ Podcast.)
Unlike the pursuit of energy subsidies in the U.S., EnBW built its business in Germany without any, according to Dirk Güsewell, a senior vice president.
The reason, he said, is because the technology for efficient wind energy is increasingly entering a more competitive marketplace.
Wind energy has, up until recently, been a European-centered industry, but the interest in Asia and the U.S. has given the company a chance to grow, Güswell said.
Grubel said the U.S. presents a diverse market, as regulations vary from state to state, but the company is trying to get a strong foothold there.
That’s good news for New Jersey, the governor said.
If all goes well, EnBW has a chance to bid in the second or third solicitations of wind energy in the state.
The Board of Public Utilities recently solicited its first round this year, and two more solicitations are slated for 2020 and 2022 to reach the goal of 3.5 gigawatts.
“Today’s announcement is an example of how our clean energy ambitions are being recognized by high value companies like EnergieBW, and we welcome their growth in New Jersey,” Murphy said.
The announcement is what Murphy hoped for when his administration planned this nine-day trade mission trip to Germany and Israel. And, while this details of this move were worked out before the trip, administration officials hope the announcement — plus their numerous meetings while they are here — will lead to more deals down the road.