Energy’s role in N.J.’s future: 5 questions with Becky Walding of NextEra Energy Transmission

Becky Walding

Executive director of development

NextEra Energy Transmission


What is your organization’s role in the clean energy space? 

NextEra Energy is the world’s largest generator of clean, renewable energy from the wind and sun. We have unrivaled experience completing complex, large-scale energy projects, getting them done on time and on budget all while putting customers first, prioritizing the environment and working with local communities to create jobs and limit disruptions. We have been powering New Jersey for nearly a quarter-century. We currently operate solar, battery energy storage and distributed energy projects in the state with more in development.

How does your organization promote and enable greater energy efficiency and sustainability?

NextEra Energy is a global leader in clean, renewable energy and is at the forefront of efforts to decarbonize the U.S. We believe in respecting the environment and sustaining communities. While we currently provide 13% of the state’s power, our contributions in New Jersey have gone far deeper. We counsel local businesses on how to reach clean energy goals, operate battery storage facilities and dozens of distributed generation solar sites on buildings from Cape May to High Point, with more clean energy projects on the way for New Jersey, including delivering on offshore wind transmission.

What are the biggest challenges New Jersey faces today in its efforts to transition from oil and gas to renewable energy?

“Utilizing cleaner sources of energy will take a significant investment, but it’s one that will pay off in the end for both the state and New Jersey ratepayers. The benefits far outweigh the cost, but that’s why its critically important that large-scale energy projects contain cost containment measures at every step to protect ratepayers and ensure they get done on time and on budget.”

How do your organization’s efforts play into economic and environmental advancements?

“NextEra Energy’s efforts to support clean energy are expected to reduce emissions and drive economic development through new investment. It is estimated that offshore wind alone will generate thousands of good-paying jobs and billions in economic activity for New Jersey. Reducing the state’s carbon footprint through the expansion of clean, renewable energy will help to improve air quality and protect habitats and wildlife. Our unique design for offshore wind transmission follows through on that commitment by reducing community, marine and environmental impacts by up to 70%. We also have the expertise and experience to support the state’s efforts to expand electric vehicles and network of EV charging stations in helping New Jersey achieve its broader clean energy goals.”

What do you see as New Jersey’s biggest long-term obstacles to getting to net zero by 2050?

“We applaud Gov. Phil Murphy’s bold vision to go 100% renewable energy by 2050. Other states are looking at what New Jersey is doing and looking to replicate it at home. The most important thing the state of New Jersey can do is choose partners who have the experience, expertise and financial resources to get the job done on time and on budget. Not only must they share Gov. Murphy’s vision, but be capable of building out new infrastructure that can meet New Jersey’s clean energy future while keeping costs down for customers.”