Solar and wind power are keys to NJ’s ambitious renewable energy goals
Governor Phil Murphy’s Master of Energy The plan, which was officially unveiled in January 2020, set a goal of having 100% clean energy in the state by 2050. When the governor signed Executive Decree No. 100, which ordered the Ministry of Environmental Protection (DEP) to make major regulatohe reforms, dubbed Protecting Against Climate Threats (PACT), to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change, New Jersey has become one of the most aggressive states in the country when it comes to planned climate change regulations. .
The renewable state eenergy targets are well documented as ambitious, and the high standards set by the current administration have prompted players in the solar and wind industries to step up their game when it comes to renewable energy projects and initiatives they implement it over the next decade.
A key part of Murphy’s 100% clean energy goal is to install 7,500 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind capacity by 2035. This capacity will have to be achieved through the construction of a wind farm.s (a collection of individual wind turbines) off the coast of the state.
In 2019, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) announced Ocean Wind 1, an offshore wind energy project in which the Danish electricity company Ørsted, with support from Public Service EnterPrice group (PSEG), will develop a 1,100 MW wind farm at 15 miles off Atlantic City, which is expected to supply more than half a million homes in the state. Ocean Wind 1 should deliver its first power at the end of 2024.
Last June, the BPU annlaunched two other offshore wind projects: Ocean Wind 2 of 1,148 MW (which will also be developed by Ørsted) and EDF, and the 1,510 MW of Shell Atlantic Shores. The two projects will combine to create around 7,000 jobs, generate $ 3.5 billion in economic benefits and supply 1.15 million homes with clean energy.
Together, the three offshore wind projects will bring the state’s total planned wind capacity to 3,700 MW.
“The state has been incredibly proactive in recent years in developing the renewable energy industry.Says Lathrop Craig, vice president of offshore wind at PSEG. “The [current] administratorThe administration has in fact accelerated the progress planned to reach its goal, allocating more than double the number of MW initially targeted in this second round. of projects.
The partnership between PSEG and Ørsted makes sense, as PSEG, which owns a 25% stake in Ocean Wind, can leverage its position as the largest transmission infrastructure builder in New Jersey to help distribute the electricity produced. from turbines to existing transmission systems so that wind power can be used statewide.
“We’re kind of the ‘last mile’ contributor to this kind of project,” says Craig.
With regard to the prospects for the offshore wind industry in the state, BPU Chairman Joseph L. Fiordaliso said New Jersey has “a unique opportunity to establish [itself] as the epicenter of a new industry that will provide tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic benefits.
Craig is optimistic.
“The challenge is that these are long-term projects that require a thorough national level review before obtaining permits, as well as [multiple] years of construction, ”says Craig, which means it would probably take until the end of the current decade to see a significant number of turbines in the ocean producing energy.
“A lot can happen in this time frame. Things are going well now, and I hope that will continue as we move forward through the rest of this decade, ”he adds.
New Jersey is currently home to 143,555 solar installations totaling 3,655 MW of power and, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), ranks 7th in the United States for total installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity.
Michael Eden, co-owner of Vision Solar, based in Blackwood, is confident about the current state of the industry, and cites a two-year extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) as a specific example. The CII is a 26% tax credit for residential solar systems and commercial properties, and has helped the US solar industry grow by more than 10,000% since its implementation in 2006, according to SEIA.