NATIONAL NEWS

Previous bidder tries again with new offshore wind proposal in New Jersey

Jul 11, 2024, 11:36 AM

Land-based wind turbines spin in Atlantic City, N.J., on April 28, 2022. On July 11, 2024, Communit...

Land-based wind turbines spin in Atlantic City, N.J., on April 28, 2022. On July 11, 2024, Community Offshore Wind identified itself as the third company to submit plans for an offshore wind farm in New Jersey by the previous day's deadline. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A partnership that proposed an offshore wind farm in New Jersey last year but was not selected by state utility regulators to move forward with it is trying again.

Community Offshore Wind said Thursday it had submitted a bid a day earlier to build a wind farm off the state’s southern coast. It would generate 1.3 gigawatts of electricity, or enough to power 500,000 homes.

Its project would be located 37 miles off Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island. The companies involved did not say how many wind turbines would be included.

The project is a partnership between Essen, Germany-based RWE and New York-based National Grid. They previously applied to build a project in roughly the same area, but were not chosen by the state Board of Public Utilities to proceed with it.

“Community Offshore Wind was not awarded a project in New Jersey’s third solicitation, but this solicitation provides an exciting new opportunity,” company spokeswoman Molly Gilson said.

The companies would not say how, if at all, this bid differs from the one it submitted last year.

If it is selected, the project could begin construction in 2027 or 2028, and become operational by 2031, the companies said.

Community Offshore Wind thus became the last of the three bidders who submitted plans by Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline to publicly identify itself.

It joins Attentive Energy, which also has preliminary approval for a wind farm 42 miles (67 kilometers) off Seaside Heights, and which is proposing an additional project in the same general area. That project is a joint venture between Paris-based TotalEnergies and London-based Corio Generation.

The second project would be capable of powering about 650,000 homes, and it is a partnership among TotalEnergies, Corio Generation, and New York-based Rise Light & Power.

Attentive Energy said it is not seeking to re-bid the terms of the preliminary approval it received from New Jersey utility regulators in January.

But Atlantic Shores, which also has preliminary approval for a two-phase project off southern New Jersey, said Wednesday that it is seeking to re-bid its project. The company did not respond to multiple requests to clarify what it is seeking to change in the new bid, and how, if at all, its project might change under a new bid.

New Jersey has set ambitious goals to become the East Coast hub of the offshore wind industry. It built a manufacturing facility for wind turbine components in the southern part of the state to help support the growth of the industry here.

And New Jersey has become the epicenter of resident and political opposition to offshore wind, with numerous community groups and elected officials — most of them Republicans — saying the industry is harmful to the environment and inherently unprofitable.

One of the most vocal groups, Protect Our Coast NJ, said Atlantic Shores previously agreed to a price of $86 per megawatt hour, but now wants more.

“By going back to the feeding trough, these price-gouging hogs are looking for a bigger payday from the New Jersey BPU and” the administration of Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, the group said in a statement Thursday. “We plan to work together with other grassroots groups to oppose the bait-and-switch tactics that this rebid represents.”

Supporters say widespread use of wind and solar energy is essential to move away from the burning of fossil fuels, which contributes to climate change.

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Follow Wayne Parry on X at www.twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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Previous bidder tries again with new offshore wind proposal in New Jersey