New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has raised the state’s offshore wind energy development goal to 11,000 MW by 2040, up 50% from its existing 2035 target of 7,500 MW. But the amount could go higher under his Sept. 21 executive order, which also directs regulators to study increasing offshore wind power generation further to help reach the state goal of 100% clean energy by 2050.

“There is always more that we can do to make New Jersey more sustainable while further advancing the state’s economic vitality,” Murphy said. “This is an aggressive target, but it is an achievable one." Only California has a higher offshore wind energy goal, 25 GW by 2045. New York proposes 9 GW of offshore wind by 2035.

Murphy, in announcing the new goal at the Climate Week conference in New York City, also added $10 million to support good-paying jobs in the clean energy sector and increased worker diversity.

The Board of Public Utilities has issued a solicitation for more than 3,700 MW of offshore wind, with three projects in development, and will seek another 1,200 MW in early 2023, President Joseph Fiordaliso said. The first project should operate by the middle of this decade.

New Jersey has the potential to develop more than 280 TWh of offshore wind, says a report by advocacy group Environment New Jersey. California has a 392 TWh potential, the report says. The country’s potential is 7203 TWh.

“Gov. Murphy’s executive order cements the reality that offshore wind will continue to expand over the next decades,” says Doug O’Malley, its director.

Regulators delayed New Jersey’s next solicitation until 2023 to allow the state time to select proposals to improve the transmission grid to support interconnection of the major new power supply.

More than 80 proposals were submitted by 13 proposers under a competitive solicitation released in April by regional grid operator PJM Interconnection. It expects to make a selection later this year after a joint review with New Jersey regulators.

New Jersey asked PJM to solicit and evaluate transmission projects that align with state offshore wind goals under the grid operator’s transmission and cost allocation mechanism called the "state agreement approach." New Jersey in 2020 was the first state to request a solicitation under that approach.

Proposers include Orsted North America, which is teamed with state utility PSEG on seven proposals. Anbaric, a merchant transmission developer, submitted 19 proposals. Its approach would cut costs by 30%, the company said.

Atlantic Power Transmission, a unit of private equity giant Blackstone, proposed projects with team members Hitachi/ABB as did Rise Light & Power, a division of LS Power, which also would build the first submarine cable manufacturing plant in the state if it wins.

Other bidders include NextEra, EDF/Shell, American Electric Power (AEP), ConEd, JCP&L, National Grid, RWE, Exelon and Atlantic City Electric.