New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed an executive order to increase the state's offshore wind goal by nearly 50% to 11 GW by 2040 and directed local regulators to assess the feasibility of further increasing the target.
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"With Governor Murphy's announcement that New Jersey will again raise its offshore wind goal, increasing its target from 7.5 GW by 2035 to 11 GW by 2040, the state has solidified itself as a national leader in driving forward this fast-growing industry," John Begala, vice president of federal and state policy of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, said in a statement emailed Sept. 22.
"This commitment demonstrates how critical offshore wind is to accelerating our renewable energy transition, and the powerful tailwinds it can provide to our supply chain and our economy," Begala said.
Governor Murphy announced the expanded offshore wind capacity target Sept. 21 during New York City Climate Week at a US Climate Alliance event alongside New York Governor Kathy Hochul who said New York had issued its sixth competitive solicitation seeking 2 GW or more of incremental large-scale renewable energy projects.
Both states are using policy and regulations to address the impacts of climate change. New Jersey is seeking a 100% clean energy state economy by 2050 and New York has mandated an emissions-free power system by 2040 among numerous other goals, including an offshore wind capacity target of 9 GW by 2035.
"Extreme weather events and severe flooding across the country leave no room for doubt – the effects of climate change are becoming more impactful and more aggressive, and we must do the same," Murphy said in a statement.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities will study the feasibility and benefits of further increasing the offshore wind goal and provide recommendations no later than one year from the effective date of the executive order for an updated target "that will further support the achievement of New Jersey's clean energy goal and the continued growth of the offshore wind industry in the state and the good-paying jobs associated with the industry," according to the executive order which is officially designated as Order Number 307.
New Jersey has set a schedule for reaching the initial 7.5 GW by 2035 that includes a fourth competitive solicitation of 1,200 MW to be issued in the second quarter of 2024, a fifth solicitation of 1,400 MW to be issued in the second quarter of 2026, and a sixth solicitation of 1,400 MW to be issued in the first quarter of 2028.
Governor Murphy also released the "Green Jobs for a Sustainable Future" report, that was created by the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy in partnership with the Governor's Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy.
The report outlines recommendations for growing a "demographically representative and inclusive green workforce as New Jersey pursues its clean energy future," according to the governor's statement.
Murphy also released an offshore wind jobs analysis and highlighted $10 million in new investments that will guide the state as it prepares to execute a one-year action plan designed to "generate good-paying jobs in the growing green economy," the statement said.
"As we set our sights on even bolder offshore wind targets, we will strive toward the equitable development of a green economy that produces good-paying jobs, wage parity, and long-term career opportunities for future generations," Jane Cohen, executive director of the Governor's Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy, said.
Additionally, the NJBPU and PJM Interconnection are collaborating on an initiative using PJM's competitive planning process to advance New Jersey's offshore wind goals.
The BPU is currently evaluating 80 proposals that have been submitted to address New Jersey's offshore wind generation goals with a focus on onshore upgrades to existing facilities, onshore new transmission connection facilities, offshore new transmission connection facilities and the potential for developing an offshore transmission network.
NJBPU staff is expected to make its recommendations to the utilities board in October.