The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) announced it is formally requesting that regional electricity grid operator PJM Interconnection begin a State Agreement Approach (SAA) solicitation for offshore wind transmission solutions in 2021. The SAA will explore solutions for bringing offshore wind-generated electricity to New Jersey’s shores. This announcement signals to other states that New Jersey is ready to deploy innovative transmission frameworks to advance offshore wind energy as part of its larger state energy portfolio.
New Jersey recognizes the benefits of a planned transmission approach, including ratepayer savings, improved environmental outcomes, better grid stability, and reductions to permitting risk. Under Governor Phil Murphy’s leadership, the state has undertaken several initiatives, including the Energy Master Plan, a transmission-specific technical conference, and the Offshore Wind Strategic Plan, which have guided the state’s understanding on the issues, challenges, and benefits associated with planned offshore wind transmission. In its Board Meeting held today, NJBPU stated that it is the state’s public policy to expand New Jersey’s transmission system to accommodate the buildout of 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. As a result, the state has requested that PJM incorporate New Jersey’s offshore wind public policy objectives into PJM’s transmission planning process. This will be the first solicitation of its kind in PJM’s history.
The following statement can be attributed to Brandon Burke, director of Policy and Outreach at Business Network for Offshore Wind:
“New Jersey is once again setting the bar in its offshore wind endeavors. The state’s perspectives were a key element of the Business Network’s investigation of planned transmission solutions for offshore wind generation projects, culminating in the recently-published Offshore Wind Transmission White Paper. As evidenced by today’s landmark announcement, NJBPU understands the importance of incorporating public policy requirements into the transmission planning of regional grid operators, like PJM. Combined with the plans for the New Jersey Wind Port, this bold action on transmission planning shows that New Jersey, under Governor Phil Murphy’s decisive leadership, is taking concrete steps to solidify its role as a leader in the U.S. offshore wind industry.”
Business Network for Offshore Wind | offshorewindus.org