Murphy increases N.J.’s offshore wind goal to 11,000 MW by 2040

Nearly 50% increase could be 1st of many as governor affirms commitment to green economy

Gov. Phil Murphy affirmed his desire to build the offshore wind industry in New Jersey on Wednesday when he signed an executive order that increases the state’s goal for megawatts by nearly 50% — from 7,500 in 2035 to 11,000 in 2040.

Murphy made the announcement on the same day the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy issued a report outlining recommendations and pathways for growing a demographically representative and inclusive green workforce — and the administration released an offshore wind jobs analysis that highlighted $10 million in new investments.

Gov. Phil Murphy. (File photo)

The administration said the announcements, which were made during Climate Week at a U.S. Climate Alliance event alongside New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, underscore Murphy’s commitment to building an inclusive green workforce and achieving a 100% clean energy state economy by 2050.

Murphy said the issues around climate change and sustainability need immediate attention.

“Extreme weather events and severe flooding across the country leave no room for doubt — the effects of climate change are becoming more impactful and more aggressive, and we must do the same,” he said.

The announcement comes weeks before the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is expected to announce which company or companies will be selected to help build a massive transmission infrastructure that is expected to greatly assist the development of the offshore wind energy industry.

BPU President Joseph Fiordaliso applauded the increased goals.

“Today’s exciting announcement by Gov. Murphy demonstrates New Jersey’s commitment to offshore wind and workforce development for our green economy,” he said. “Offshore wind is a vital component of our clean energy mix as we strive to meet 100% clean energy by 2050.”

Janice Fuller, president, mid-Atlantic, of Anbaric Development Partners — one of the firms hoping to be awarded part of the transmission project — said increasing the megawatt goal sends a message.

“This bold new goal solidifies New Jersey’s place as a national leader in renewable energy and further demonstrates the governor’s commitment to aggressively combatting climate change here in the Garden State,” she said.

“Today’s announcement, coupled with the forthcoming awards in the BPU’s first-in-the-nation offshore wind transmission solicitation expected next month, will accelerate the growth of a sustainable offshore wind industry that creates local union jobs and boosts the state’s economy — all while protecting the shoreline and New Jersey’s ratepayers.”

Murphy’s executive order increased the megawatt goal to 11,000 — and it may only be a step toward a greater number. The executive order also directed the BPU to study the feasibility of increasing the target further.

Murphy said his commitment will only increase.

“Our renewed and strengthened commitment to offshore wind development testifies to my administration’s understanding that, regardless of our impressive successes to date, there is always more that we can do to make New Jersey more sustainable while further advancing the state’s economic vitality,” he said.