New Jersey Launches Wind Solicitation as New York Prepares for Next Round

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Undeterred by a range of setbacks in developing the offshore wind energy sector, both New Jersey and New York are pushing forward with their next rounds of solicitations. The governors of both states attest their strong support for the industry attributing the setbacks as part of the growing pains of a new industry.

New Jersey announced today, April 30, that it has opened its fourth offshore wind solicitation which will run till July 10. They set a goal of awarding between 1.2 GW and approximately 4 GW of contracts for offshore wind generation capacity. State administrators said the new round is designed to encourage competition, promote economic development, and ensure the lowest reasonable cost and lowest risk to New Jersey ratepayers.

“This latest solicitation is further proof of our commitment to building a strong and thriving offshore wind industry that will deliver undeniable economic and environmental benefits to our state, for both this generation and the next,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

New Jersey is looking to reinvigorate its offshore wind energy industry despite continuing strong opposition from local and environmental groups. They contend the wind turbines would be determinantal to the Jersey shore’s tourism industry and continue to site theories that the survey work for wind farms is causing an increase in whale deaths. U.S. Congressman Jefferson Drew is bringing former president Donald Trump, another avowed “hater of wind” for a rally on the Jersey shore next week.

The state suffered a major setback in October 2023 when Ørsted backed out of two large late-stage development projects. The company said financial pressures had made the projects no longer financially viable while the governor angrily denounced the company and said they would hold them to their financial commitments to the state. 

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities highlights that in January 2024 it awarded two of New Jersey’s largest offshore wind projects to date. They authorized the 1.3 GW Attentive Energy Two which would be more than 40 miles offshore near Seaside Heights and is being developed by TotalEnergy and Corio Generation. The first phase of that project is now stalled as it would supply power to New York. New Jersey also approved the 2.4 GW Leading Light Wind project which would be 40 miles from Long Beach Island. It is a partnership between Invenergy and energyRE.

New Jersey had previously approved Atlantic Shores, a partnership between Shell New Energies and EDF. It calls for 1.5 GW of power generation capacity and would be just over eight miles from Long Beach Island.

In neighboring New York which would also draw sites within the New York Bight located between the states, they are looking to launch a next round this summer. Last week, New York issued a request for information for the next round as well as a planned infrastructure grant program. This comes after the state’s regulators announced they had closed the third round solicitation without any awards.

New York blamed significant changes that they traced to GE Verona’s decision not to build a planned large wind turbine. At the same time, New York had to launch an accelerated round at the beginning of the year to provide a structure to rebid two other large projects that threatened to walk away unless they could reset their power purchase agreements. Negotiations are still underway to finalize new agreements with Empire Wind 1 (Equinor) and Sunrise Wind (Ørsted).

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