ELEVEN WIND DEVELOPERS SUBMIT PROJECT PROPOSALS
AS PART OF FEDERAL OFFSHORE LEASING PROCESS
(11/P75) TRENTON - Demonstrating its continued commitment to a clean energy future for New Jersey that will drive economic growth, the Christie Administration today announced that 11 companies have expressed an interest in developing wind turbine projects off the New Jersey coast as part of a federal process that will ultimately determine the development of offshore leases for these projects.
"Development of clean wind power and solar energy is a top priority for Governor Chris Christie and is a key component of the state's energy future," said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin. "This robust response from offshore wind developers makes it clear that commercial interest in development of wind turbines is strong. It also solidifies New Jersey's role as a national leader in the development of green energy that will provide jobs, economic growth and cleaner air while reducing carbon dioxide emissions."
The U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) issued a federal notice, known as a Call for Information and Nominations, to gauge developers' interest in leasing portions of the outer continental shelf off New Jersey for wind turbine projects.
The firms submitting project nominations are: Offshore MW LLC; Neptune Wind LLC; Garden State Offshore Wind Energy I LLC; Bluewater Wind New Jersey Energy LLC; TCI Renewables Inc.; Mainstream Renewable Power; enXco Development Corp.; US Wind Inc.; New Jersey Offshore Wind LLC; Fishermen's Energy of New Jersey LLC; and Iberdrola Rewewables Inc.
Ranging in size from 350 megawatts to as much as 3,000 megawatts, the proposed projects represent approximately 12,500 total megawatts of green energy capacity. Multiple project proposals overlap the same federal leasing blocks, meaning that the total power generation capacity of the wind facilities constructed would ultimately be much less than the total of the projects submitted in the Call for Information and Nominations.
The proposed leasing area encompasses 418 square nautical miles between Barnegat Light and Avalon. This leasing area begins seven nautical miles off the shoreline and extends up to 23 nautical miles into the ocean, encompassing 43 entire federal leasing blocks and parts of 34 others.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar identified this area as a Wind Energy Area (WEA) for further study and consultation to foster responsible and efficient leasing. The leasing area was delineated in consultation with the New Jersey Energy Task Force and BOEMRE, based on extensive environmental data collected during a two-year DEP ecological baseline study of marine and avian resources.
The New Jersey Energy Task Force, comprised of state, federal and local agencies, met numerous times to ensure all stakeholder interests and concerns were addressed, including maritime, fisheries, and natural resources.
BOEMRE will now evaluate the Call for Information and Nominations and must complete a qualifications review of all of the applicants before determining whether competitive interest exists. If BOEMRE determines competitive interest exists, the agency will determine the structure of the competitive process leading to final bidding for leases.
For the Call for Information and Nominations, BOEMRE required potential developers to provide specific information, including the leasing block or blocks they are interested in, a description of the project's objectives and infrastructure requirements, proposed activity schedule, likely power purchasers, and documentation demonstrating financial and technical capabilities.
The Christie Administration is committed to cleaner and affordable energy for New Jersey, having implemented a number of laws and policies to foster the development of renewable energy and set New Jersey on a path toward a green and secure energy future. The creation of jobs tied to green energy and the development of port facilities to facilitate this development are priorities of the administration.
As part of these efforts, the Administration this week released the draft 2011 Energy Master Plan (EMP), which establishes the framework for achieving a greener and affordable vision for the use, management, and development of energy in New Jersey over the next decade and beyond.
The state will accomplish this through a diverse energy portfolio that promotes renewable sources of energy, saves money, stimulates the economy and job creation, and protects the environment.
In addition, the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act, which the Governor signed into law last year, authorizes creation of an Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificate (OREC) program and makes available financial assistance and tax credits from existing programs for businesses that construct, manufacture, assemble and provide water access facilities to support the development of qualified offshore wind projects.
The OREC program calls for a percentage of electricity sold in the state to come from offshore wind energy. This percentage would be developed to support at least 1,100 megawatts of generation from qualified offshore wind projects - or enough electricity for approximately one million homes.
The state has identified nearly 500 companies that could become involved in the development of wind power through the construction of wind turbines and supply chain support. The Christie Administration also has been working closely with local officials to redevelop the Port of Paulsboro as a hub for companies needed to provide and construct wind projects.
For a list of the companies that filed in the Call for Information and Nominations process, visit:
For other information about the Call for Information and Nominations process, visit: www.boemre.gov/offshore/RenewableEnergy/StateActivities.htm#New_Jersey
To read the DEP's Ocean/Wind Power Ecological Baseline Studies, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/dsr/ocean-wind/