New Jersey is not giving up on its offshore wind ambitions despite recent setbacks. Danish developer Orsted recently pulled out of two major wind farm projects in the state, causing concern about the future of the industry. However, the state Board of Public Utilities has voted to seek bids for a transmission facility that will enable the connection of multiple offshore wind projects to the onshore electrical grid. This move demonstrates New Jersey’s commitment to becoming a leader in the offshore wind industry on the East Coast. The board’s president, Christine Guhl-Sadovy, emphasized that offshore wind remains a crucial tool in mitigating climate change and an economic development opportunity of a generation.
The transmission facility, as outlined in a 2019 law, will be an open-access system that can be located either in the Atlantic Ocean or onshore. It will include concrete structures and empty pipes to accommodate power cables from offshore wind farms. The goal is to minimize environmental and community impacts by completing the project in a single construction effort. Power transmission developers, owners, and offshore wind developers are eligible to apply for the project.
The decision by Orsted to cancel its Ocean Wind I and II projects due to inflation, supply chain issues, and insufficient government subsidies has raised concerns about the profitability of the offshore wind industry without substantial financial support. However, New Jersey remains determined to move forward with its offshore wind plans. While opponents of offshore wind celebrated Orsted’s withdrawal, community groups and environmental advocates continue to support the development of sustainable energy solutions that protect the state’s interests and national security.
Despite the challenges faced by the offshore wind industry, New Jersey’s commitment to renewable energy remains strong. The state recognizes the potential of offshore wind as a clean and reliable source of electricity, capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating economic opportunities. By investing in the necessary infrastructure, such as the transmission facility, New Jersey aims to position itself as a leader in the growing field of offshore wind and contribute to the fight against climate change.
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