As the state of New Jersey is working on its next solicitation for offshore wind proposals, the joint venture between Shell and France’s EDF energy company submitted a proposal to supply the state with up to 2,300 MW of renewable wind power. Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind also pledged up to $19 million in investments, including programs to train and develop the workforce as the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities seeks to award the second phase of offshore wind energy projects.
Formed two years ago by the European energy companies, Atlantic Shores already holds a 183,000-acre lease on the U.S. Continental Shelf offshore from Atlantic City, New Jersey. Atlantic Shores estimates their first project would be completed as early as 2027, and if awarded, the largest sized project in its bid could generate electricity powering the equivalent of nearly one million homes.
In its bid, Atlantic Shores also proposed to leverage the technical capabilities of its parent companies and collaborate with academic partners and companies in New Jersey to extend the initiative beyond offshore wind to a broader energy plan. The company proposes exploring commercial pathways for battery storage and committed to supporting the development of a 5 to 10 MW green hydrogen pilot project to improve the understanding and expertise on green hydrogen.
“As the holder of one of the largest offshore wind leases in the United States, Atlantic Shores has an incredible opportunity to help meet New Jersey’s demand for clean, affordable energy within our 180,000 acres,” said Jennifer Daniels, Development Director for the company. “Our project, backed by the technical, operational, and development expertise of our team and the financial backing of global energy parent companies, is well positioned to serve New Jersey ratepayers best. Offshore wind can propel a dynamic and fast-growing new economy on the East Coast, and we are committed to helping build it first in New Jersey. We are confident that if the project is selected, Atlantic Shores will help New Jersey to deliver on its vision of a clean energy future.”
As part of its bid, Atlantic Shores also announced partnerships to support the development of the offshore wind workforce. It includes partnerships with Rutgers University, Rowan College, the Barnegat Bay Partnership, the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, and workforce training with several manufacturers and suppliers.
The company said would help fund the Rutgers Future Scholars program in offshore wind, providing yearly scholarships for first-generation, low-income students along with funding several companies within the Minority & Women Owned Business Incubator at the Rutgers EcoComplex. They also committed to providing funding for approximately 30 yearly scholarships for Rowan’s programs in Energy Industry Fundamentals (EIF), Transportation, Logistics and Distribution/Supply Chain, Manufacturing Machinist, and other workforce training programs that align with the offshore wind industry needs.
During the summer of 2020, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities issued the guidelines for its second offshore wind solicitation targeting 1,200 to 2,400 MW in additional wind energy generation. The first offshore wind solicitation was for 1,100 MW of energy. The state has set a target of 7,500 MW of offshore wind energy by 2035. Governor Phil Murphy declared a goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050.
New Jersey plans to complete the second solicitation making a final decision by the summer of 2021.
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