New Jersey Makes History with Largest Offshore Wind Project Commitment

Bold Action to Advance Critical Climate Solution Applauded By Diverse Coalition

TRENTON, NJ, – Today, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities voted unanimously to select New Jersey’s first, and America’s largest, offshore wind energy project. The Ocean Wind project was awarded Offshore Renewable Energy Credits (OREC) for 1,100 MW – enough to power approximately 500,000 New Jersey homes with clean, renewable energy. Ocean Wind will be developed 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City by Ørsted. This represents the single largest offshore wind project commitment by any state to date.

Today’s action builds on the Murphy Administration’s early, bold leadership to jumpstart offshore wind energy for New Jersey. Upon taking office, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 8 directing the state to develop a comprehensive Offshore Wind Strategic Plan and signed a bill committing New Jersey to 3,500 MW – a tripling of the state’s offshore wind policy.  The BPU is now moving forward with the nation’s most aggressive offshore wind procurement schedule, with additional project awards set for 2020 and 2022. Together with today’s announcement, these actions send a clear message to the booming offshore wind industry that New Jersey is ready to reap the many environmental and economic benefits of this transformational climate change solution.  

New Jersey’s environmental, conservation, business, labor, and fishing leaders applauded today’s historic announcements:

Curtis Fisher, Northeast Regional Executive Director at National Wildlife Federation, said:

“This is the single largest victory for renewable energy in New Jersey history and it would not have happened without Governor Murphy’s leadership. In awarding contracts for enough offshore wind energy to power roughly 500,000 homes, New Jersey is making a dramatic transformation from a fossil powered past to a clean, affordable and reliable energy future powered by offshore wind. We congratulate Ørsted and look forward to continuing our work with all offshore wind industry leaders, as well as state and federal regulators, to ensure that all projects are developed responsibly with strong protections in place for coastal and marine wildlife.”

Eric Stiles, President & CEO of NJ Audubon Society, said:

"We congratulate Ørsted on the announcement of their winning bid to build 1,100 MW of responsibly developed offshore wind power 15 miles off our coasts and thank the BPU and Murphy Administration for their continued commitment to aggressively fighting climate change. We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and Ørsted to ensure the goal of responsibly developed offshore wind power that provides clean energy while also respecting our natural resources and wildlife."

Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, said:

“New Jersey LCV is excited to hear the news out of the BPU today. We are moving forward to realize the ambitions of our nation’s largest offshore wind program and to catalyze the massive local economic development opportunities that come with it. As New Jersey positions itself as a national leader in addressing the climate crisis, this is another strong example and a critical step forward of how we are leading the way in embracing and innovating the clean renewable energy economy. We thank Governor Murphy and BPU President Fiordaliso for their continued leadership and moving us toward making our clean energy future a reality.”

Richard Lawton, Executive Director of the New Jersey Sustainable Business Council, said:

"As a network of triple bottom line businesses that are working to create a more sustainable clean energy economy, we view offshore wind development as a critical step in the transition away from fossil fuels. The entire offshore wind supply chain will create thousands family-supporting 21st century jobs.  We applaud Governor Murphy, the state legislature and the BPU for helping New Jersey take the lead in offshore wind as a path to a 100% renewable energy future."

Debra Coyle McFadden, Executive Director of New Jersey Work Environment Council, said:

“This announcement is the infusion of energy New Jersey needs, both for our grid and our economy. As the offshore wind sector is developed, we need to keep a keen eye on the supply chain to ensure domestic sourcing of goods and strong, family-sustaining jobs.”

Tom Gilbert, Campaign Director for ReThink NJ and NJ Conservation Foundation, said:

“The Murphy Administration is making good on their promise to make New Jersey a national leader on offshore wind which will reduce harmful emissions, generate millions in economic benefits and create thousands of jobs in our state.”

Mark Taylor, President of Jersey Coast Anglers Association (JCAA), said:

“From Sandy Hook to Cape May, New Jersey anglers will be able to take advantage and benefit from all of this new habitat and underwater reef structure. However, we must have fishing access to fish right up to the bases of the turbines, input in the planning process and fisheries research and monitoring before, during, and after construction for this to be a win for recreational fisherman. We encourage the Murphy administration and offshore wind power developers to follow the lead of previous projects that worked closely with recreational anglers throughout the permitting process.”

Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey, said:

“New Jersey just made history. This is the largest move yet in America to move forward with offshore wind. These turbines will provide the clean energy engine we need to power our state with clean, renewable energy and finally tap the goldmine of offshore wind potential off the Jersey Shore. Offshore wind is one of our best tools to fight climate change and New Jersey just cemented its place as a national leader.”

Liz Burdock, CEO & President of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, said:

 “The scale of New Jersey’s award along with the state’s procurement schedule and transparent process also gives manufacturers the confidence needed to make the investments required to set up a local supply chain and manufacturing. This is what I meant when I said during our IPF conference in April that the offshore wind industry is now and it’s real--real contracts for offshore wind power, real companies being hired, real high-skilled jobs being filled, real clean power for New Jersey consumers.”

Rev. Ronald Tuff, Organizer at GreenFaith New Jersey, said:

“People of faith in New Jersey are 100% behind 100% renewable energy for the state by 2050, and for the family-sustaining jobs that this commitment will generate. This announcement is a concrete step in the right direction.”

Nathanael Greene, Senior Renewable Energy Advocate at Natural Resources Defense Council, said:

“The winds of change and climate progress are blowing strong in New Jersey. As long as we continue to tap it responsibly, our offshore wind has the potential to power millions of homes and businesses with clean energy and put thousands to work. The contract announced today is a historic step forward by the Governor to help the state meets its clean energy goals and build a better and safer future for all of us.”

Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said:

“Today is a historic moment for New Jersey. Offshore wind is starting to become a reality. Now we will be able to save money on electric bills while getting green jobs. Wind energy will protect us from health impacts such as asthma that fossil fuel brings. More importantly, building our wind infrastructure will help prevent unnecessary dirty fossil fuel plants and pipelines from being built. This is the most important environmental advancement by the Murphy Administration, and this is one promise Murphy has kept.”  

Helen Henderson, Ocean Program Manager at American Littoral Society, said:

“While we applaud New Jersey’s leadership in moving offshore wind forward, yet to be seen is how this project will ultimately avoid harm to marine ecosystems, wildlife and habitats, and impacts on sustainable traditional uses of the ocean. We believe there can be responsibly sited and successful offshore wind projects if they are born out of meaningful and robust stakeholder engagement, identification and appropriate protection of special environmental areas and resources, and coordination throughout the region. We look forward to a full review of the Board’s order and the outcomes of state, regional, and federal environmental review and planning processes to determine if these safeguards are adequate.“

Norah Langweiler, Campaign Organizer for Jersey Renews, said:

“Offshore wind is a foundational pillar for New Jersey’s transition to renewable energy. Not only do we get the benefit of clean energy, we have the opportunity to set the industry standard for worker protections and compensation in a burgeoning sector.”

Amy Goldsmith, NJ State Director of Clean Water Action, said:

“Today's a long overdue big step forward with the Murphy Administration making up for lost time under Christie. We can’t build wind turbines fast enough to get us to 100% renewable energy by 2050. The BPU has to be even more aggressive in getting to the next phase of offshore wind as well as maximizing kilowatt hours from other Class I renewables.”

Capt. Paul Eidman, owner of Reel Therapy Fishing charters, said:

“Just like the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico that attract fish and anglers alike, each of these turbines will surely become a fish factory. I look forward to catching the likely many species that will flock to the artificial reef structure created by the turbines. Doing whatever we can to stem the tide of climate change and provide new sport fishing opportunities is something recreational anglers should be excited about.”

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