Some of the world’s largest offshore wind turbine manufacturers are among the companies looking to set up shop at a new wind port being developed deep in South Jersey.
Six companies submitted 16 separate, non-binding offers to operate as tenants at the 200-acre New Jersey Wind Port, according to an Oct. 29 announcement from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.
Utility giant PSEG and Ørsted – one of the developers behind several wind farms off the coast of New Jersey – meanwhile submitted a joint proposal Thursday to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and regional grid operator PJM to handle the transmission of thousands of megawatts in electricity into homes and businesses.
Called the Coastal Wind Link, the project is meant to modernize New Jersey’s energy grid to handle the influx of thousands of megawatts off offshore wind energy.
Both announcements are part of the state’s efforts to bolster a massive offshore wind industry over the next decade.
Gov. Phil Murphy – who is seeking reelection next week – said he wants the state to have an offshore wind capacity of 7.5 gigawatts by 2035, and for the state to be entirely reliant on clean energy by the middle of the century.
There are two wind farms in the works that will total nearly 3,800 megawatts of capacity. Ørsted North America has full rights to develop the first project, called Ocean Wind, which will have 1,100 megawatts of capacity once completed.
Then in June, state regulators approved Ørsted’s application for the 1,148-megawatt “Ocean Wind 2” project and the 1509-megawatt Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, a joint venture between Shell New Energies US LLC and EDF Renewables—making it the nation’s largest offshore wind farm.
“New Jersey is showing a way forward by this project right here, showing us how to do it in the country,” U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, a Boston native, said during a September appearance with state officials at the future site of the port. “This project is a model … we never had as a nation.”
State officials envision the wind port as a kind of staging ground from which wind turbine components would be manufactured and assembled to be shipped to the rest of the country.
Once completed in 2023, the site would employ up to 1,500 people and generate $500 million in economic activity, according to Murphy’s office.
Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, Ørsted Wind Power North America and Beacon Wind put in bids for two parcels for the marshalling, stage and final assembly of the wind turbines.
Meanwhile, GE Renewables, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and Vestas-American Wind Technology – three of the world’s largest offshore wind manufacturers – all submitted bids for two other parcels that would handle manufacturing at the port.
“The New Jersey Wind Port is a game-changing investment that establishes New Jersey as the capital of offshore wind in the United States,” reads a prepared Thursday statement from Murphy.
Further north, where the Delaware Bay turns into the Delaware River, is the proposed $250 million manufacturing facility for the wind turbines, based in Camden County along the Delaware River.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this headline and article indicated that there were 16 offshore wind companies competing for tenancy at the New Jersey Wind Port; that was incorrect, six companies submitted 16 separate applications. The story was updated at 3:39 p.m. EST on Nov. 1, 2021.