offshore wind

Orsted Will Use NJ Wind Port to Build Offshore Wind Farm

Orsted, which is partnering with Newark-based PSEG to build the project, will lease the New Jersey Wind Port in Salem County for two years starting in April 2024

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Orsted, the Danish wind power developer, signed an agreement Thursday with New Jersey officials to use a state-financed manufacturing port to build the components of the state's first offshore wind farm.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced the agreement during an international wind energy conference in Atlantic City, from whose coast the project's turbines should be visible on the distant horizon.

Orsted, which is partnering with Newark-based PSEG to build the project, will lease the New Jersey Wind Port in Salem County for two years starting in April 2024. Murphy did not reveal how much the developers will pay for the lease. The parties signed the letter of intent Thursday, but binding agreements are to be submitted to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority by June.

The pact marks the first return on the state's investment of up to $500 million in the wind port, designed to help the state attract companies interested in building wind power projects here as it seeks to become the East Coast hub of the offshore wind industry.

“This is a huge moment: Today is a vision turning into reality,” Murphy said at the conference, sponsored by the Business Network for Offshore Wind. “This is truly New Jersey's ‘If you build it, they will come’ moment.”

Ocean Wind is to be built off the state's southern coastline, and will provide 1,100 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 500,000 homes. It is one of three wind farms approved thus far by New Jersey regulators, with many more to come.

In February, six companies bid a combined $4.37 billion for the right to build wind energy projects on the ocean floor off New Jersey and New York in the U.S. government’s largest such auction in history. New Jersey plans another round of project solicitations later this year.

Officials broke ground on the wind port, in Lower Alloways Creek Township, last September. The facility is designed to provide a place to manufacture giant blades and other components for offshore wind energy projects.

The turbines to be built there are nearly as large as the Eiffel Tower and weigh thousands of tons. Because of that, they need to be built and prepared for transport in a place free from bridges or other obstacles that they must pass under on their way out to sea.

The port was designed with this and other technical considerations in mind.

The state also is planning a second related facility in Paulsboro on the Delaware River in southern New Jersey to build the huge poles supporting wind turbines.

When Ocean Wind 1 project was approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in June 2019, the approval was based on the project utilizing an existing out-of-state port to marshal the project. The developers have since decided to use the state wind port instead, officials said Thursday.

Murphy said the lease is expected to create at least 200 pre-assembly, stevedoring and other jobs in a region badly in need of them.

“New Jersey is on the forefront of wind energy technology, and through our partnership, the Ocean Wind 1 project will deliver hundreds of jobs, clean energy, and transformative infrastructure to the region," said David Hardy, CEO of Orsted Offshore North America.

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