New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order this week enshrining an increase to the state’s offshore wind energy target, increasing it from 3,500 megawatts (MW) by 2030 to 7,500 MW by 2035.
In early 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order ordering 3,500 MW of offshore wind energy be installed by 2030 — one of several US East Coast state targets for offshore wind signed that year. Since then, the East Coast offshore wind industry has received solid backing from states up and down the coast, and new targets have been signed which — if realized — will see the United States become one of two new major offshore wind markets (the other being Taiwan).
Fast-forward nearly two years, however, and Governor Murphy has heeded the growing support for offshore wind and doubled-down on his original Executive Order, signing this week a new order which will more than double New Jersey’s offshore wind target from 3.5 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 to 7.5 GW by 2035. The goal is part of the state’s larger renewable energy target of securing 50% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2050.
“There is no other renewable energy resource that provides us with either the electric-generation or economic-growth potential of offshore wind,” said Governor Murphy in an announcement alongside former Vice President Al Gore.
“When we reach our goal of 7,500 megawatts, New Jersey’s offshore wind infrastructure will generate electricity to power more than 3.2 million homes and meet fifty percent of our state’s electric power need. Our offshore wind industry will generate billions of dollars in investments in New Jersey’s future, that will, in turn, create thousands of jobs. We have an immense opportunity to maximize our potential and make this region – and, specifically New Jersey – the nexus of the global offshore wind industry.” – Murphy
“As our federal government abdicates its responsibility to confront the climate crisis, our transition to a clean energy future is being led by states like New Jersey, and by leaders like my friend Governor Phil Murphy,” added former Vice President Al Gore. “Today’s announcement couldn’t be more timely and more needed, as climate-related extreme weather events continue to wreak havoc on our communities. With this Executive Order, Governor Murphy is unleashing the unprecedented economic and job creating opportunities of clean, wind energy.”
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities issued a solicitation in mid-2018 for 1,100 MW of offshore wind energy, a contract which was awarded to Danish offshore wind behemoth Ørsted earlier this year. The resulting 1,100 MW Ocean Wind offshore wind farm is set to be located off the coast of Atlantic City and will be completed and operational by 2024.
“We’re delighted that New Jersey has chosen Ørsted to build the State’s first large-scale offshore wind farm,” said Martin Neubert, Executive Vice President and CEO of Ørsted Offshore back in June. “Since Ørsted developed the world’s first offshore wind farm in 1991, we have pushed the industry forward to help turn offshore wind into a large-scale and cost-competitive source of clean energy. We look forward to delivering Ocean Wind which will be the first offshore wind farm in the US to cross the 1 GW mark and will contribute significantly to meeting Governor Murphy’s ambitious renewable energy goals.”