Gov. Phil Murphy has instructed the state Board of Public Utilities to launch a fourth offshore wind solicitation in early 2024. Undaunted by the withdrawal of the Danish wind farm developer Orsted from its offshore wind commitments, Murphy is seeking quick action by the BPU to get potential wind farm lease areas awarded.
Murphy says in a release that he has directed the BPU to get a new solicitation underway “in recognition of the strong future of New Jersey’s offshore wind industry.” The governor is looking to this fourth solicitation as a way to get his offshore wind initiative back on track with his announced goal of generating 100% of the state’s electric power from clean energy sources by 2035.
Offshore wind farms continue to be subject to intense opposition in some coastal communities, with Cape May County still committed to using “every means necessary” to stop the “industrialization” of its coastline. The county continues to pursue its litigation challenging federal permits and approvals for the Ocean Wind 1 project.
A number of environmental groups have come out in support of the governor’s new push. Environment New Jersey, a clean energy advocate, applauds Murphy’s effort, saying climate action is important “on the heels of the COP 28 summit,” referring to the United Nations’ annual climate conference now going on in Dubai.
BPU President Christine Guhl-Sadovy said, “Today’s announcement affirms New Jersey’s commitment to offshore wind.”
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