Utility and electricity giant Public Service Enterprise Group said Friday it plans to spend an unspecified amount of money on a 25% interest at the $1.7 billion, 1,100-megawatt wind energy project 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City.
The project, known as Ocean Wind, run by Danish energy company Ørsted North America, is projected to supply electricity to half a million households across South Jersey.
It’s the first of three tranches of 7,500 megawatts in offshore wind the Murphy administration is aiming to have in the state’s energy capacity by 2050.
And it’s projected to help usher in an economic boom for the region, especially for Atlantic City, which is dependent on the nine casinos now hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions meant to contain the spread of the virus.
“Our two organizations have unmatched expertise and experience constructing complex energy projects,” Ørsted Offshore North America Chief Executive Officer David Hardy said in a Friday statement.
“We’re excited to partner with PSEG due to their extensive knowledge of the market and previous track record.”
The operation and maintenance of the Ocean Wind facility would entail 69 full-time jobs during the 25-year lifecycle of the project, according to Gabriel Martinez, a spokesperson for Ørsted.
PSEG declined to provide details on how much they will spend for the 25% ownership stake, and what exactly they would bring to the table.
Instead, they pointed to the June 2019 press announcement from the state’s Board of Public Utilities, indicating that they awarded the 1,100 MW project to Ørsted.
“As New Jersey’s first offshore wind project, Ocean Wind will lead the way for a productive first step into this forward-leaning industry, bringing with it new skills, jobs and carbon-free energy,” Ralph Izzo, the chairman, president and chief executive officer at PSEG, said in the Friday announcement.
“Further, this investment in offshore wind energy is well-aligned with our company’s long-term clean energy strategy.”
In June, Gov. Phil Murphy and several top economic and environmental officials unveiled a 200-acre “wind port” in Salem County on the Delaware Bay, where the wind turbines would be produced and shipped out across the Jersey Shore.
It will be in Lower Alloway Creek Township, adjacent to PSEG’s Hope Creek Nuclear Generation Station – PSEG owns the property where the new facilities will be built.
“As we restart from the pandemic, I do not want to see our state simply get back to where we were before COVID-19 in almost any respect,” the governor said in June. “I want to see us move far beyond to a place that we have never been before. The emerging offshore wind industry is one that gives us this tremendous growth potential.”