New Jersey Gets Ahead in the Race of Offshore in the USA

Phil Murphy, New Jersey Governor, has triggered the long-awaited implementation of this project by giving green light to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), after signing an executive order to move forward toward fulfilling its goal of 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy generation by 2013.

To get a good grasp of the implications of this, we first need to go back in time till 2010 when Chris Christie, former New Jersay Governor, signed OWEDA, which called for the BPU to develope an offshore renewable energy certificate (OREC) program supporting about 1.1 GW of generation from offshore market for the state. Ever since, there has been no movement on providing the necessary mechanisms to develop an offshore industry for the state.

Murphy’s Executive Order directs the BPU to begin the rulemaking process to fill the gaps in the current regulations governing the OREC program. The order also directs BPU President Joseph Fiordaliso and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe to work together to establish an Offshore Wind Strategic Plan for New Jersey.

This program will mainly consist of providing with the necessary financial support by offshore wind developers to get this challenging project off the ground. After the BPU creates a process to approve those plans, it will issue a solicitation calling for proposed offshore wind projects for the generation of 1.1 GW of power. The order also calls for a study of the potential benefits to regional collaboration on offshore wind.