The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) aims to launch a competitive solicitation for offshore wind transmission in 2021, aligning with the regional grid operator’s planning process.
The NJBPU has requested that the US state’s offshore wind transmission policy is included into the planning process of PJM Interconnection.
This means PJM will be able to solicit potential offshore wind transmission solutions from qualified developers on behalf of NJBPU, under a State Agreement Approach.
The east coast state is targeting 7.5GW of offshore wind energy by 2035.
NJBPU intends to work with PJM to evaluate competitive project proposals in concert with the grid operator, including any cost considerations, following the tender planned for next year.
NJBPU can use the State Agreement Approach to explore options for an optimal long-term solution for offshore wind transmission that otherwise may not have been available at this stage of development.
Through the solicitation process, NJBPU will examine details on a wide array of ready-to-build transmission options, including key factors such as cost, siting, environmental impacts, and the timeframe for construction.
NJBPU president Joseph Fiordaliso said: “Our actions today reflect New Jersey’s leadership in innovative clean energy development, as well as our commitment to expanding renewable energy quickly and responsibly to combat climate change.
“By exploring offshore wind transmission options through the State Agreement Approach, we’ll work collaboratively with PJM to identify potential solutions that meet the state’s needs and ensure the best value for ratepayers.
“PJM has been tremendously helpful throughout this process and will be instrumental to our success in achieving Governor Murphy’s vision for 100 percent clean energy by 2050.”
The State Agreement Approach was written broadly to accommodate the “breadth and diversity of policies that different states might pursue”, said PJM president and CEO Manu Asthana.
“It is an existing tool that states can use to leverage PJM’s regional transmission planning expertise. In this case, we are pleased to be able to help New Jersey advance its offshore wind objectives,” Asthana added.
The process will also allow NJBPU to determine how a coordinated approach can lead to more cost-effective, efficient transmission solutions that minimize the environmental impacts of bringing wind energy ashore.
There are no financial or ratepayer obligations with today’s announcement, which goes into effect after the state’s second offshore wind solicitation.
Additionally, the competitive solicitation process contains extensive consumer protections, including the ability to control cost and timing implications by incorporating transmission upgrades in a phased manner.