New Jersey regulators partner with PJM in offshore wind transmission planning
The SAA is a pathway for states to contract for the transmission facilities they will seek in the future for specific energy targets. Transmission developers will be able to submit proposals to PJM to address the need for infrastructure to add 7.5 GW of wind.
“We’re studying the potential transmission solutions and then the BPU will have a decision to make on what choices they want to make,” Manu Asthana, president and CEO of PJM, said. The SAA would allocate the cost of any expansion that occurs under it to the state requesting the expansion, New Jersey, and that allocation would be filed with federal regulators.
BPU staff recommended a coordinated approach to generation and transmission during the state’s first two offshore wind solicitations, but with substantial expansion of the resource, “there needs to be an integrated transmission plan early on in the process, so that you’re not double building or creating repeated environmental disruption,” Fiordaliso said.
The results of the 2021 solicitation will be revealed by PJM later that year in collaboration with New Jersey, according to Ken Seiler, PJM’s vice president of system planning.
Offshore wind stakeholders lauded the announcement. The Business Network for Offshore Wind called it “bold action on transmission planning.”
“As evidenced by today’s landmark announcement, NJBPU understands the importance of incorporating public policy requirements into the transmission planning of regional grid operators, like PJM,” Brandon Burke, director of policy and outreach for the Business Network, said in a statement.
PJM is working with other states on their offshore wind goals, and other grid operators along the Atlantic Coast are also cooperating with regulators and state agencies to integrate offshore wind. New York expanded their Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) in October to increase the state’s clean energy target for onshore and offshore renewables to 70% by 2030, spurring greater collaboration between the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO).
The NYISO recently submitted 15 stakeholder proposals to identify potential transmission needs driven by state policy to New York regulators, according to spokesperson Zachary Hutchins. “The NYISO continues to work closely with [the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority] and the State to provide insights on the integration of renewables … and expertise through the planning process to advance the state’s offshore wind projects and meet the CLCPA mandates.”