NJ - New Jersey Board of Public Utilities asks PJM to include the state’s offshore wind plans into its regional planning
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has asked the state’s regional grid operator, PJM Interconnection, to include New Jersey’s plan to develop 11 GW of offshore wind by 2040 into its Regional Transmission Expansion Planning (RTEP).
The request was made using New Jersey’s State Agreement Approach (SAA). The SAA may be used by any state, or a combination of states, to advance state public policy goals as long as the state agrees to pay all costs of the project’s build-out. The SAA was incorporated into the PJM Operating Agreement in 2013, with the implementation of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s order that required regional grid operators to “provide for the consideration of transmission needs driven by public policy requirements in the regional transmission planning processes.”
It is expected that this SAA will solicit proposals to inject the additional 3.5 GW needed to reach the State’s new 11 GW goal at the Deans 500 kV substation. However, transmission developers will be allowed to propose cost-effective alternative points of interconnection that may still meet the state’s policy goals.
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“Today’s action is extremely important for the future of our offshore wind program,” NJBPU President Joseph Fiordaliso said. “As we look to achieve Governor Murphy’s new, increased goal of 11 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2040, we must create additional pathways for wind energy to be brought onshore and into the PJM grid.”
The Deans 500 kV substation was identified by PJM and the NJBPU staff for the SAA for several reasons. Among them, it is located near high electric load centers; it is accessible to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) offshore wind lease areas that are likely to service New Jersey, and it was previously identified by PJM as having the available capability.
“New Jersey has been a pioneer in developing infrastructure needed to achieve its ambitious offshore wind policies,” PJM President and CEO Manu Asthana said. “NJBPU recognized early on the value of PJM’s independent, competitive, and proven transmission planning process, and we look forward to continuing to help New Jersey achieve its offshore goals reliably and as cost-effectively as possible.”