The Danish company behind the massive, 1,100-megawatt offshore wind project off the coast of Atlantic City is moving several of its operations to Newark later this year, it announced on May 20.
As part of the move, Ørsted North America will open an office in New Jersey’s largest city to handle its digital operations for North America, namely its offshore wind infrastructure.
State officials are eyeing the offshore wind and clean energy industry as key economic sectors for the state’s post-COVID economic recovery. Gov. Phil Murphy’s goals call for the availability of 7.5 gigawatts of offshore wind by the year 2035.
“While most of our employees will be based in southern New Jersey when our projects are operational, this headquarters ensures that the economic benefits of offshore wind will be spread across the entire state,” reads a statement from Davide Hardy, who heads Offshore North America, Ørsted. “Newark is a fast becoming a tech hub and we’re proud to play a part in its resurgence.”
The office’s workforce will expand to at least 40 employees over the next two to four years, Ørsted said.
“In addition to providing high-tech job opportunities for our residents and helping make Newark a more attractive destination for innovative business, having Ørsted join our growing tech hub can inspire a new generation of sustainability innovators committed to tackling the climate crisis,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka added in the Thursday announcement.
Ørsted accounts for one of the two major proposals for developing a second round of offshore wind farms in New Jersey, calling for wind farms with a 2,400-megawatt capacity. The second bid is from a 50:50 joint venture between Shell New Energies and EDF Renewables for a 2,300-megawatt project.
The Biden administration has shown increasing willingness to prioritize some of the state’s offshore wind goals, such as a potential upcoming approval for Ørsted’s 1,100-megawatt project.
In addition to the offshore wind farms, the state is moving ahead with a 200-acre “wind port” in Salem County, from which the state would ship out wind turbine components to the rest of the country.
And the state is pushing through a $250 million manufacturing facility for the wind turbines, based in Camden County along the Delaware River.