The State of New Jersey, in conjunction with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), is exploring the possibility of leasing portions of the continental shelf to wind power developers and studying the feasibility of large scale, offshore wind farms.
BOEMRE is a federal agency within the Department of the Interior that is charged with the oversight of offshore energy and mineral projects. BOEMRE worked with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to identify an area that would be suitable for offshore wind development, and concluded that a 418 square nautical mile area between Avalon, New Jersey and Barnegat Light, New Jersey would be appropriate. The boundary of the potential development area runs for a distance of 45 nautical miles between Barnegat Light to Avalon, and begins 7 nautical miles from the coastline and extends 23 nautical miles seaward.
On April 20, 2011, BOEMRE issued a Call for Nominations, which sought responses from companies interested in leasing portions of the identified development area for the purposes of developing and constructing wind farms.
On June 10, 2011, the NJDEP announced that 11 companies responded to the Call for Nominations. The responding companies set forth potential wind farm development projects that ranged in size from 350 megawatts to 3,000 megawatts. The companies responding to the Call for Nominations included 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 Renewables, Inc.
BOEMRE will evaluate the qualifications of the 11 responsive companies and review the proposed wind farm developments in order to reach a final decision as to whether to lease portions of the continental shelf for development. If BOEMRE determines that leasing will go forward, it will employ a competitive bidding system to award the leases.
The potential offshore wind development projects in New Jersey would be large scale and could provide significant work opportunities for local contractors. We will continue to monitor the evaluation process and update you on the decisions.