Sun.
Jul 25
2021
Image: American Public Power Association via Unsplash

New Jersey completed the largest ever offshore wind energy tender in the United States, as the nation pursues a clean energy agenda and job creation.

State regulators awarded France’s EDF and Royal Dutch Shell a tender to build the 1,510-megawatt (MW) Atlantic Shores wind farm.

Meanwhile, Denmark’s Orsted, a global leader in offshore wind development, separately won rights to construct the 1,148-MW Ocean Wind 2 array. 

The tender puts the state on track to meet Governor Phil Murphy’s goal to generate 7,500 MW of offshore wind power by 2035 and to generate 50% renewable energy by 2050.

U.S. President Joe Biden is forging ahead with pledges to deliver job growth while fighting climate change through the development of renewable energy sources, including offshore wind. Initial equipment for wind development is likely to come from established manufacturers in Europe.

However, changing that to domestic suppliers is part of the plan.

New Jersey is seeking to gain those manufacturing jobs, as the United States begins to build out and supply its own offshore networks.

“We will also bring $1 billion of additional in-state spending to create new green jobs and build specialized manufacturing capabilities, while improving air quality and creating equitable growth opportunities to support New Jersey communities on the frontlines of environmental justice,” according to an Orsted release.

Each project includes a commitment to build a nacelle assembly facility at the New Jersey Wind Port, according to the New Jersey governor’s office.

The nacelle houses the components that convert the mechanical energy of the rotating blades into electrical energy, and is the highest value-added offshore wind component. 

Atlantic Shores plans to partner with MHI Vestas for this facility, while Ocean Wind will collaborate with GE.

Both projects will utilize the foundation manufacturing facility at the Port of Paulsboro. Additional benefits to the region include a green hydrogen pilot facility from Atlantic Shores and a truck electrification pilot project at Port Newark from Ocean Wind, according to the release.  

The involvement of Royal Dutch Shell, meanwhile, shows that the oil and gas giant is following through on new strategy commitments made last year to invest in renewable energy and carbon reduction.

BP, also an oil and gas major, has also entered into wind and solar renewables projects as it sets out on a new low- carbon strategy.

The New Jersey award adds to projects in progress or slated for New York, Massachusetts, Virginia and elsewhere as the Biden administration seeks to ramp up offshore wind generation to 30 gigawatts within the next decade.  

By Stephen Bierman

Stephen Bierman is an energy markets journalist and the editor of New Economy Observer.

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