In a big leap forward for clean energy, plans for a $1.6 billion wind-energy farm — the largest of its kind in the U.S. — about 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City has won the backing of state regulators.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities chose Ocean Wind, a proposal by Danish energy company Ørsted and supported by PSEG Power, to develop a 1,110-megawatt offshore wind farm. Ocean Wind was selected from among three projects.
Construction of the energy farm, which would produce enough electricity to power more than a half-million New Jersey homes, is expected to start in 2022 or 2023. The first phase would come online in 2024.
Hailed by environmentalists, the project, which is estimated to add $1.46 a month to an average residential electric customer’s bill.
State officials said the project will generate $1.17 billion in economic benefits and 15,000 jobs over the life of the project. Among the benefits: the creation of a supply chain in New Jersey to support offshore wind farms.
“Today’s announcement firmly establishes a fast-growing global industry in New Jersey, which will create jobs and supply chain in the state,” Thomas Brostrøm, chief executive officer of Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind and president of Ørsted North America, said in a statement. “Ocean Wind will ensure that the state and its residents not only benefit from clean, renewable power, but that they reap the rewards of being an early player in the offshore wind industry as it grows in the U.S.”
Gov. Phil Murphy has set a goal of 3,500 megawatts for offshore wind generation by 2030 to power as many as 1.5 million New Jersey homes. The state will next solicit bids for two additional 1,200-megawatt offshore wind projects, one in 2020 and another in 2022. Watch a video about those plan at the top of this story.
“It’s an historic day,” said Joseph L. Fiordaliso, president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. “I really am having difficulty grasping the reality of the moment, after so many years, that New Jersey is going to finally be open for business as far as offshore wind is concerned.”
Earlier this month, Murphy unveiled a plan to convert New Jersey’s electricity production to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. New Jersey has a way to go. About 95 percent of electricity generated in New Jersey comes from natural-gas-powered plants and nuclear facilities.