Sweeney Center to host offshore wind conference tomorrow at Rowan

Event to feature BPU President Guhl-Sadovy, EDA CEO Sullivan and 3 companies building offshore wind farms

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Christine Guhl-Sadovy and New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan will be two of the keynote speakers at “Moving Forward on Offshore Wind: New Challenges, New Competition” — an event held by the Steve Sweeney Center for Public Policy at Rowan University on Wednesday.

In addition to Guhl-Sadovy and Sullivan, speakers at the conference will include:

  • Wes Jacobs, project director, Leading Light Wind;
  • Damian Bednar, managing director, Attentive Energy;
  • Terence Kelly, head of external affairs, Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind;
  • Dan Kent, labor relations manager, Vineyard Offshore;
  • Anne Reynolds, vice president of offshore wind, American Clean Energy Association;
  • Dan Fatton, director, offshore wind sector, Economic Development Authority.

The conference comes in the wake of two major events last month: 1) the BPU’s award of contracts to Leading Light Wind and Attentive Energy to generate 3.7 gigawatts of offshore wind with turbines using monopiles and towers manufactured in New Jersey; and 2) the operational launch of the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm, Vineyard Wind, off the coast of Massachusetts.

Of course, Ørsted’s decision to pull out of the state last fall always is the elephant in the room.

“Ørsted’s decision to pull out of its Ocean Wind projects in New Jersey was a serious setback and followed the cancellation of three New England projects,” Sweeney Center Director Mark Magyar said. “However, the latest round of BPU awards not only reinvigorated New Jersey’s offshore wind initiative, but also guaranteed that those turbines will be built on monopiles and towers manufactured in New Jersey.”

Magyar noted the efforts of Vineyard Wind, too.

“Vineyard Wind proved that industrial-scale offshore wind development on the Atlantic Seaboard is achievable and offers a roadmap for New Jersey to follow,” he said. “New York state awarded contracts to generate 4.1 gigawatts from offshore wind in October, and the federal government awarded final approvals last month for Virginia’s 2.5-gigawatt Dominion Wind. Despite the setbacks, offshore wind development is moving forward.”

The conference is being held from 8:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the Eynon Ballroom of Rowan University’s Chamberlain Student Center, 201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro. Registration for both in-person and virtual attendance is free.

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