N.J. begins nation’s largest single-state solicitation of offshore wind projects



New Jersey officials on Monday kicked off the nation’s largest single-state solicitation of offshore wind projects.

The state Board of Public Utilities unanimously approved the opening of an application window for 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind capacity on the same day the nation’s oldest nuclear power plant in Ocean County closed.

The action will allow offshore wind facility developers in federal waters to submit applications between September 20 and December 28.

The Board of Public Utilities says it will act on the applications by July 1, 2019. Gov. Phil Murphy recently called on the officials to open two additional solicitation periods — one in 2020 and another in 2022 — at 1,200 megawatts each.

Murphy’s administration has set a goal of 3,500 megawatt offshore wind generation by 2030, or enough the power more than 1.5 million homes. The governor seeks to have a 100-percent clean energy state by 2050.

“In the span of just nine months, New Jersey has vaulted to the front of the pack in establishing this cutting-edge industry,” Murphy said. “We campaigned on rebuilding New Jersey’s reputation as a clean energy leader and that involves setting an aggressive timetable on offshore wind.”

Earlier this month, the state Board of Public Utilities received an application to build a 25-megawatt offshore wind project consisting of three turbines about 2.8 miles east of Atlantic City.