Electric Farms in the Garden State

It appears that each day I sit down to write a new blog there are new positive developments for the future of wind energy. On April 20th, news broke of the ground breaking on what will be the largest offshore wind turbine manufacturing hub in the United States. The hub is going to be located in the Paulsboro Marine Terminal in southern New Jersey. The governor’s office of New Jersey stated that this investment into the state came in the tune of $250 million. This facility will specialize in the production of monopiles specifically. In offshore wind farming, monopiles are the stands on which the wind turbine are mounted, securing the turbine with a stable base to the ocean floor. Governor Murphy stated that “Positioning New Jersey as a national leader in the offshore wind industry,” is a key priority of his. At completion, the site will cover a total of 70 acres and is expected to create 260 jobs during the construction and manufacturing phase.

Photo Credit: Office of the Governor, NJ

The monopiles constructed in this site will be used to support the 1,100 MW offshore wind farm developed by Ørsted and PSEG, named Ocean Wind. This project is just a one component of New Jersey’s long-term wind energy plans, as the state has committed to an offshore wind capacity of 7,500 MW by 2035. The project itself just began construction, with the hub mentioned above being the first step in the construction process of this wind farm honoring a commitment to sourcing as much of the project domestically as possible. The anticipated timeline for completion of this project and the start of energy production is late 2024. At the time that pen went to paper and the necessary contracts were signed, the most powerful wind turbine on the market was the GE Haliade-X 12 MW. You can read about a newer more powerful wind turbine here.

Photo Credit: Office of the Governor, NJ

The electricity produced in this farm will power 500,000 homes in Jersey. The 7,500 MW wind energy goal translates to powering 3.2 million homes in New Jersey with wind energy by 2035. As far as my research and reading has gone, this is the most ambitious renewable energy goal that I have come across. Not just because of the time frame. Not just because of the number of homes to be powered by wind energy. But because this would mean that 100% of New Jersey homes would be powered by offshore wind energy.

Ocean Wind is not the first offshore wind farm in the US, it is also not Ørsted’s first in the US or internationally. Ørsted the world’s leaders in offshore wind, having installed the world’s first offshore wind farm in Denmark and the first offshore wind farm in the US, off of the coast of Rhode Island. The Rhode Island wind farm is the first completed in the US, with a total capacity of 30MW. The only other completed wind farm in the US was also developed by Ørsted and it’s located in Virginia with a capacity of 12 MW. If you’re like me, you’re taking a double take at these numbers. Ocean Wind’s capacity is slated to be 1,100 MW, an exponential increase in capacity from anything else currently operational in the US. In fact, out of the 11 total planned wind farms in the US, Ocean Wind is the second largest planned and will be by far the largest in the US once it is completed. The only wind farm in the pipeline that will surpass Ocean Wind is an expansion of the wind farm in Virginia which is slated to increase to a total capacity of 2,630 MW.

If you’re excited about your state’s renewable investments, leave a comment below sharing them.

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