New Jersey is one step closer to bringing an offshore wind farm to the coasts of the U.S. Garden State Offshore Energy (GSOE), a joint venture between utility Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) Renewable Generation and Deepwater Wind, was selected by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities today to build an offshore wind farm far off the Jersey coastline. The proposed 350-megawatt wind farm would consist of 96 turbines nearly 20 miles offshore. GSOE will receive a $4 million state grant to help cover permitting costs and spur project financing though the final project, to be completed by 2012, will likely cost well over $1 billion, according to the state.
This is the second large offshore wind contract Deepwater Wind has won. Just last week Deepwater was chosen by the Rhode Island Governor for a $2 billion offshore wind project. The New Jersey-based firm is backed by First Wind, DE Shaw & Co. and Ospraie Management.
GSOE was competing against four other contractors: Fishermen’s Energy, Bluewater Wind, Occidental Development & Equities and Environmental Technologies. Bluewater Wind, a subsidiary of wind giant Babcock & Brown, is already developing an offshore wind farm farther south. In June the company signed a 200-megawatt power purchase agreement with Delaware utility Delmarva for offshore wind energy to be built at the mouth of the Delaware Bay.
GSOE’s farm is to be part of new Jersey’s nefariously named “Energy Master Plan.” Similar to other states’ Renewable Portfolio Standards, the so-called master plan calls for 20 percent of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2020. According to the 100-page cost-benefit analysis of offshore wind the Board of Public Utilities published, this wind farm could produce 1 percent of the state’s energy.