Originally published in Politico
The state Senate today amended bill that would allow New Jersey to solicit offshore wind projects in a new way, setting up the legislation for a full vote later in the lame duck session.
The bill, NJ S3985 (18R), sponsored by Sen. Bob Smith (D-Middlesex) would expand the definition of a “qualified offshore wind project” to include “offshore wind transmission facility,” meaning the state Board of Public Utilities could issue requests for proposals for generation and transmission projects.
Developers would have to submit separate bids for each type of project, whether for turbines or for the cables and facilities required to bring the wind power to shore.
The bill would also expand the definition of an offshore wind renewable energy certificate, or OREC, the tradeable commodity by which offshore wind is financed. Under the bill, the OREC now represents one megawatt hour of electric generation transmission transfer capability — the movement of power — in addition to its original, more limited meaning: for one megawatt hour of electric generation — the creation of power.
The amendment changed the language in the legislation from “shall” to “may.” It was a move, Smith told POLITICO, that “reminds [the BPU] that they have promised to do their next RFP and make sure wind is separate from generation.”