State awards first-ever offshore wind project to Ørsted

New Jersey has granted its first-ever award for offshore wind development.

In a unanimous vote Friday, the state Board of Public Utilities selected Danish company Ørsted to build a wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City capable of generating 1,100 megawatts of energy, enough to power roughly 500,000 homes.

It’s the single largest award for offshore wind in the country to date, according to the BPU, which estimates it will generate $1.17 billion in economic benefits and 15,000 jobs over the project’s life.

“I’m really having difficulty grasping the reality of the moment, after so many years, that New Jersey is going to finally be open for businesses as far as offshore wind is concerned,” said BPU President Joseph Fiordaliso.

“It is a big day for offshore wind, for clean energy and for the south Jersey economy,” Gov. Phil Murphy said at an unrelated press conference Friday.

Murphy has set a goal of 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030 and is pushing for 100% renewable energy for the state by 2050.

Ørsted’s project, called Ocean Wind, is expected to be completed in 2024.