BPU: State’s 3,500 megawatt offshore wind goal could be reached by 2022

The message at the New Jersey Offshore Wind Supply Chain Networking event was New Jersey is open for business.

“You want to come, you want to make some money, you want to do a societal benefit, come to New Jersey because we want you here to help us achieve our goal,” New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joe Fiordaliso.

The Garden State recently issued the country’s biggest single-state solicitation of offshore wind to date for 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind.

“That solicitation should be completed by Dec. 28, and then those solicitations will be evaluated, and we’ll see who qualifies and where we’re going to go and what developer,” Fiordaliso said.

Chief executive officer for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority Tim Sullivan says the international market is taking notice and that it’s a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity for New Jersey.

“We want to be the capital of the American wind industry,” he said.

Fiordaliso says they’ve been moving full force ever since Gov. Murphy announced his goal of of 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030. The administration has asked NJ BPU to open two more 1,200 megawatt solicitations of offshore wind capacity in 2020 and 2022.

“It is a goal that is aggressive, progressive and achievable,” Fiordaliso said.

Gov. Murphy led his first trade mission to Israel and Germany in October. In Germany, he spoke with industry leaders about playing a role in New Jersey’s offshore wind goals.

“The governor that announced one of the offshore German offshore wind players is opening an office in Jersey City when we were in Germany, and we think that’s just the beginning of lots of economic activity,” Sullivan said.

“We’ve had representatives here from the United Kingdom, we’ve had representatives here from Germany, we’ve had representatives here from Denmark. Denmark as an example gets 50 percent of its energy from wind,” said Fiordaliso.

But Fiordaliso says they also want to work in conjunction with neighboring states.

“Particularly New York in developing this because I think it has to be a regional approach and one that we’re willing the board as long as we can to mitigate climate change,” he said.

Sullivan says there are plans in the governor’s economic development to form a one-stop shop for the wind industry.

“Bringing together academia, labor and the private sector and the public sector to bring together something we’re calling the wind institute,” he said.

Fiordaliso says they are also working toward the bigger goal of 100 percent renewable clean energy by 2050 and that the state just hit 100,000 solar installations in New Jersey.

“It’s just not spending money on windmills or solar installations,” he said. “It’s about creating industries that are going to supply jobs that are going to enhance the economic activity of the state of New Jersey.”