NJPUC Looks into Offshore Wind Development

The Board of Public Utilities yesterday unanimously approved an offshore wind competitive grant solicitation with up to $19 million in funding to support the financing and development of an offshore wind pilot. As part of this funding the Board will provide up to 10 percent of the total incentive upfront to help conduct the needed studies and prepare needed permit applications.

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine has committed his Administration to aggressively pursuing clean, renewable energy sources for New Jersey’s electricity supply. As a part of his overall renewable energy strategy, the Governor directed his Administration to explore the possibility of offshore wind, which has significant potential along the New Jersey coastline.

I commend Governor Corzine on his leadership in exploring offshore wind, a clean, renewable resource that has the potential to provide greater fuel diversity for New Jersey, while simultaneously fighting global warming that threatens our New Jersey shoreline,” said Board of Public Utilities President Jeanne M. Fox.  [The] Board’s decision will allow New Jersey to move forward in gathering essential data to help us determine the feasibility of offshore wind in New Jersey.”

The successful grant will build an aggregate capacity of up to 350 MW of offshore renewable wind electricity. Criteria to be considered in the awarding of the grant include:

  • Location in the study area from the DEP ecological baseline study, extending 20 miles offshore from Seaside Park to Stone Harbor (72 miles of the NJ coastline)
  • Assist in relieving or reducing congestion in the ACE distribution system and the PJM transmission system
  • Demonstrate an ability to finance construction through market sources, which may include tax exempt bond financing through EDA.

The Board will accept proposals through mid-January 2008, with the award projected for March of 2008.  The evaluation committee will chose a proposed winner to recommend to the Board if a proposal meets the relevant criteria, but reserves the right not to make an award if no acceptable proposal is received.

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