DEP says 11 companies show interest in developing wind power off Atlantic Coast

TRENTON – The state Department of Environmental Protection said Friday that 11 companies are interested in developing wind turbines to produce clean energy off the Jersey coast.

The proposed leasing area encompasses 418 square nautical miles, stretching between Barnegat Light and Avalon.

The firms submitting project nominations are: Offshore MW LLC; Neptune Wind LLC; Garden State Offshore Wind Energy I LLC; Bluewater Wind New Jersey Energy LLC; TCI Renewables Inc.; Mainstream Renewable Power; enXco Development Corp.; US Wind Inc.; New Jersey Offshore Wind LLC; Fishermen’s Energy of New Jersey LLC; and Iberdrola Rewewables Inc.

“Development of clean wind power and solar energy is a top priority for Governor Chris Christie and is a key component of the state’s energy future,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said in a statement. “This robust response from offshore wind developers makes it clear that commercial interest in development of wind turbines is strong.”

The federal Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement issued a federal notice to measure developers’ interest in leasing portions of the outer continental shelf off New Jersey for wind turbine projects.

Ranging in size from 350 megawatts to as much as 3,000 megawatts, the proposed projects represent approximately 12,500 total megawatts of green energy capacity, the DEP said.

Federal Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar had designated this section of the coastline as a Wind Energy Area (WEA) for further study and consultation to foster responsible and efficient leasing.

The Interior Department bureau will now evaluate the submissions and must complete a qualifications review of all of the applicants before determining whether competitive interest exists.

Potential developers were required to provide specific information, including the leasing block or blocks they are interested in, a description of the project’s objectives and infrastructure requirements, proposed activity schedule, likely power purchasers, and documentation demonstrating financial and technical capabilities.

Last year, Christie signed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act, authorizing the creation of an Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificate (OREC) program that provides funding and tax credits from existing programs for businesses that create and provide water access facilities to support the development of qualified offshore wind projects. OREC calls for a percentage of electricity sold in the state to come from offshore wind energy.

This percentage would be developed to support at least 1,100 megawatts of generation from qualified offshore wind projects – or enough electricity for approximately one million homes, DEP officials said.

For a list of the companies that filed in the Call for Information and Nominations process, visit: DEP says 11 companies show interest in developing wind power off Atlantic Coast