New Jersey okays almost $6 million for offshore wind

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and the Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) have approved two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) that will make nearly $6 million available to support offshore wind and other clean energy projects.

Under the agreements, New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program (NJCEP) will provide $4.5 million to support NJEDA-led workforce development projects to prepare more local workers for offshore wind jobs, and $1.25 million to support early-stage local cleantech companies.

NJEDA plans to use the second funding in partnership with the New Jersey Commission on Science Innovation and Technology (NJCSIT) to develop a seed grant program that will aid cleantech businesses during critical proof of concept and prototyping stages.

“Ever since Governor Murphy took office, we have been moving at a whirlwind pace on offshore wind, and especially with the twin crises of COVD-19’s economic devastation and climate change, we are not slowing down any time soon,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso.

“Fueling our clean energy renaissance will be renewables like offshore wind, and since these industries don’t build themselves, we couldn’t be prouder to be developing a homegrown, inclusive, world-class workforce of cleantech and offshore wind technicians right here in the Garden State.”

The funding will be used immediately, with the aim of establishing operational programs by mid-2021.

New Jersey has committed to having 7.5 GW of offshore wind energy by 2035. In its first-ever offshore wind solicitation, NJBPU awarded Ørsted with a contract to develop the 1,100 MW Ocean Wind project, expected to be operational by 2024.

The U.S. stated has just recently opened the application window for the second offshore wind solicitation, which seeks to award between 1,200 MW and 2,400 MW of capacity.

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