Murphy Announces Offshore-Wind Registry to Pair Investors, Companies

Tom Johnson | April 10, 2019 | Energy & Environment
Businesses commend New Jersey’s push to increase reliance on renewables like wind and solar

Credit: Hans Hillewaert/flickr
Offshore wind turbines
On a day when offshore-wind advocates touted the sector’s future, Gov. Phil Murphy said the state would create a registry to partner investors with New Jersey companies seeking to cash in on the emerging industry.

The announcement, at a packed house of industry leaders at a conference in New York City, came as executives lauded state efforts to move the energy sector to much greater reliance on renewable energy, like wind and solar, as the Murphy administration aims to do.

“There’s no question the technology exists to get to 100 percent renewables (a target set by Murphy for 2050),’’ said Steve Dayney, an executive at Siemens Gamesa, an offshore wind-turbine manufacturer. It is more of a question of will and how quickly industries can be cost-effective, he said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday said his state would provide up to $30 million to support projects to improve the resiliency, flexibility, and integration of renewable energy sources onto its electric grid. Project proposals will be evaluated on how they improve overall grid performance, reduce energy costs, and support his state’s clean-energy goals to combat climate change.

Getting the wind behind them

Murphy’s new initiative is hoping the offshore-wind supply-chain registry will facilitate the delivery of offshore-wind projects and ensure New Jersey companies are first in line for opportunities they create.

Murphy has set a goal of 3,500 megawatts of offshore-wind capacity to be developed along the Jersey coast by 2030, enough to power 1.5 million New Jersey homes and businesses, if achieved. The state expects to decide which offshore developers will build up to 1,100 megawatts of wind capacity along the coast by the end of June. Later solicitations in 2020 and 2022 are expected to help the state achieve the 3,500-megawatt goal.

“Offshore wind is on the verge of becoming one of the biggest industries in the world, and New Jersey will be at the forefront of that trend,’’ said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities president Joseph Fiordaliso.

Green for greenbacks

The New Jersey program will be part of the state’s Economic Development Authority’s membership in the Business Network for Offshore Wind. It is designed not only to achieve environmental benefits from cleaner energy sources, but also to spur job growth by creating a green economy.

“New Jersey’s proactive approach to establishing this portal will set an example to the rest of the country of how to build a robust wind economy that benefits local business and workers,’’ said Liz Burton, CEO and president of the Business Network for Offshore Wind.

Thomas Brostrøm, CEO for Ørsted US Offshore Wind, citing the surging growth in the sector in the United States and declining costs for development of offshore wind farms, agreed. “The U.S. got the timing absolutely right,’’ he said.