Murphy announces offshore wind solicitation schedule through 2035

Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday announced the offshore wind solicitation schedule and called upon the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to implement it.

These projects will create clean renewable energy needed to meet the state’s goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030, 7,500 megawatt offshore wind by 2035, and a 100% clean energy economy by 2050. Hitting 7,500 MW generated will create enough electricity to power more than 3.2 million homes and meet 50% of the state’s electric power need, while at the same time, support the offshore wind industry’s economic investment into the state and creation of thousands of jobs.

“Several months ago, I committed the State of New Jersey to 7,500 MW of offshore wind by 2035, as a critical component of achieving 100 percent clean energy by 2050,” Murphy said.“By announcing this planned solicitation schedule, we are demonstrating to our partners in industry and labor that we are committed to implementing this process in a thoughtful way that ensures economic growth for the New Jersey.”

The schedule includes the next 1,200 MW solicitation to be opened by September of this year, with an award made by the second quarter of 2021. The schedule through 2035 allows for a certain level of certainty for developers, manufacturers and the supply chain.

“Not only was Governor Murphy the first to embrace 100 percent clean energy, he has been a national leader when it comes to recognizing the importance of offshore wind,” New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso said. “New Jersey opened the largest single-state solicitation, is building a supply chain that will support projects up and down the east coast and is poised to double our offshore wind capacity. Guided by our new Energy Master Plan, offshore wind is a critical component in realizing the Governor’s vision of 100 percent clean energy by 2050 and ensuring our planet survives for future generations.”

Proposed OSW solicitation schedule through 2035:

Solicitation Capacity Target MW Issue Date Submittal Date Award Date  Estimated Commercial Operation Date 
1  1,100 Q3 2018 Q4 2018 Q2 2019 2024
2  1,200 Q3 2020 Q4 2020 Q2 2021 2027
3  1,200 Q3 2022 Q4 2022 Q2 2023 2029
4  1,200 Q2 2024 Q3 2024 Q1 2025 2031
5  1,400 Q2 2026 Q3 2026 Q1 2027 2033
6  1,400 Q1 2028 Q3 2028 Q1 2029 2035

Liz Burdock, CEO and president of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, said this in response to Murphy’s ambitions goal:

“We thank Governor Murphy for responding to our request for a multi-year schedule of offshore wind energy solicitations based on the challenging goal of 7,500 MW of offshore wind energy being developed by 2035.

“However, we are also concerned that the state does not currently have a long-term comprehensive plan for working with utilities, regional transmission organizations (RTOs), and other grid experts to ensure that the state’s energy systems are ready for the massive gigawatts of power that will be generated off the New Jersey shoreline starting in 2024.

“Grid and transmission planning is key to ensuring the steady growth of the U.S. offshore wind industry in the long-term. We only have a few years to modernize and increase the capacity of the onshore grid to handle the double task of the electrification of transportation (electric vehicles) and the greatly increased generation of clean energy from offshore wind and solar.

“New Jersey is one of the states that is taking steps to resolve its grid and transmission constraints, but more work remains to be done. This new solicitation schedule outlines a framework into which New Jersey’s transmission solutions will fit so that energy production meets energy demand.

“Our hope is that other states will follow Governor Murphy’s lead and publish their own timetables. This will facilitate the coordination of the U.S. offshore wind supply chain, and readiness of transmission solutions. If we can do this, it will be remembered as an important step forward for the U.S. offshore wind industry.”