By - Jim Vess

New Jersey sets up online registry to promote offshore wind projects, attract investment

Energize Weekly, April 17, 2019

New Jersey has created an online supply chain registry to help develop 1,100 megawatts (MW) of new offshore wind projects—a priority for the administration of Gov. Phil Murphy.

The registry will the enable companies “to publicly indicate their interest and ability to supply components and services,” according to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), which operates the portal.

It will also serve as “a resource for companies looking to buy from and partner with New Jersey-based firms,” the authority said. There are 22 companies listed in the registry so far.

“The offshore wind supply chain registry will facilitate the delivery of our offshore wind projects and ensure New Jersey companies are first in line for opportunities they create,” Murphy said in announcing the registry.

In May 2018, Murphy signed a law setting New Jersey’s renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) at 50 percent by 2030. The state has a goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050, and offshore wind generation is seen as a key component.

In January 2018, Murphy revived the state’s Offshore Wind Economic Development Act, which was passed in 2010, but languished during the administration of former Gov. Chris Christie, with an executive order to take “all necessary action” to execute the law.

“The purpose of that Order was to implement the State’s Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA) in order to develop a strong and vibrant offshore wind industry in New Jersey and combat the threat of global climate change,” according to the state’s 2019 annual report on wind development.

The executive order directed the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) to seek bids for 1,100 MW of offshore wind projects, representing the largest single state solicitation for offshore wind projects.

“Offshore wind is on the verge of becoming one of the biggest industries in the world, and New Jersey will be at the forefront of that trend,” Joseph L. Fiordaliso, president of the NJBPU, said in a statement.

The solicitation for projects was made in September 2018, and the board is slated make project awards by the end of June.

Murphy is seeking to additional solicitations for 1,200 MW of projects in 2020 and 2022 to reach the goal of 3,500 MW of offshore wind generation by 2030.

“This proposed solicitation schedule is critical for offshore wind developers, suppliers, and the State to make long-term investment decisions,” the 2019 report on offshore wind development said.

In January 2019, NJEDA also opened applications for its Offshore Wind Tax Credit program, aimed at drawing investment to the state.

The tax credit is available to offshore wind-related facilities of $50 million, $17.5 million if a tenant, in New Jersey’s seven southern counties and will employ at least 300 new, full-time workers at a qualified wind energy facility or through an equipment supply coordination agreement.

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