New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy has signed into law a bill which expands the definition of a “qualified offshore wind project” to include an “open access offshore wind transmission facility”.

Open access offshore wind transmission facility is a high voltage transmission facility that conforms to applicable FERC regulations and policies regarding open access transmission, the law says.

The definition also includes all associated interconnection facilities and equipment in the Atlantic Ocean and connected to the electric transmission system in the State of New Jersey that is connected with a wind turbine electricity generation facility in the Atlantic Ocean and approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU).

The expanded definition will allow these open access transmission facilities to be eligible for offshore wind renewable energy certificates (ORECs). The law has also amended the definition of an OREC.

OREC now represents the environmental attributes equivalent to one megawatt hour of electric generation, and, additionally, one megawatt of electric transmission transfer capability from a qualified offshore wind project.

NJBPU plans to hold one or more competitive solicitations for open access offshore wind transmission facilities and related interconnection facilities. The solicitation/s will be conducted separately from any other solicitation for offshore wind turbine electricity generation facilities.

”Allowing the Board of Public Utilities to bid projects specifically for open-access transmission is an enormous step forward in creating a more robust, affordable offshore wind industry in New Jersey, while minimizing the impact on our ocean environment and critical fisheries,” Janice Fuller, New Jersey President of Anbaric.

“This legislation will allow for increased competition in future offshore wind solicitations. Open-access transmission enables wind generators to plug into a planned, efficient system that delivers more energy with less risk while protecting the environment.”

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