September 2018 has been a month to remember for offshore wind, opening on September 1 with Massachusetts’ 6.5 cents per kWh price announcement and followed by major industry milestones in New York and New Jersey, all of which are accelerating the forward momentum of the US offshore wind marketplace.
New Jersey started with the NJ Board of Public Utilities’ official acceptance of the Nautilus Offshore Wind (formerly Fishermen’s Energy Atlantic City Wind Farm) application for review on September 5. The first of several New Jersey Energy Master Plan meetings was held on September 7, followed on September 13 by Governor Murphy’s call for 1,200 MW solicitations in 2020 and 2022, and capped off on September 17 by the NJ BPU’s unanimous vote to open the application window for 1,100 MW.
The New Jersey solicitation for 1,100 MW—which opened September 20 and closes December 28, 2018—was the biggest news. As NJ BPU President Joseph Fiordaliso said, “The opening of the 1.1 GW window, coupled with the Governor’s announcement for the deployment schedule for the full 3.5 GW solicitation, provides unparalleled certainty and incentive for developers and manufacturers to anchor a supply chain right here in New Jersey that can serve the entire eastern seaboard.”
The NJ BPU will hold a Technical Conference on the solicitation on October 10 and plans to announce the award by July 1, 2019.
New York also had a busy month, highlighted by the September 20th release of the draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for 800 MW, with comments due by Friday, October 5. The formal RFP is expected to be issued later this fall. NYSERDA has committed to notifying proposers of the award in April 2019 and executing the contract in June of next year.
NYSERDA announced on September 4 that the state was investing $15 million in SUNY clean energy workforce development and training programs, and hosted a public webinar on September 21, a Transmission Technical Conference on September 25 and offshore wind public information meetings on September 26 and 27.
And the global offshore world is paying attention, as both New Jersey and New York appeared in the show dailies this week at the Wind Energy conference in Hamburg, Germany, the world’s biggest offshore wind industry event. The Network’s President and CEO, Liz Burdock, commented, “We are thrilled with the rapid progress both New York and New Jersey are making on offshore, and we encourage them to continue to find ways to work together as well—as Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut are doing—on a regional basis to maximize resources and maintain forward progress across state lines.”