NextEra wind turbines in the ocean

NextEra Energy Transmission signs MOU with subsidiary of most-experienced offshore wind firm in Europe

Company officials feel alliance with WindGrid further cements NextEra as best choice to handle state’s RFP on offshore wind energy transmission...

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Tom Bergeron | ROI-NJ | September 8, 2022

 

The way Matt Valle sees it, the potential partnership of NextEra Energy Transmission MidAtlantic and WindGrid is a lot more than just one in which 1+1=3.

Valle, the president of NextEra Energy Transmission, feels bringing the most experienced offshore wind transmission company in the U.S. together with the subsidiary of the most experienced group in Europe, Elia Group, creates an impressive alliance — one with the know-how, industry contacts, supply-chain connections and redundances that will be needed to ensure the state’s request for a system capable of transmitting 7,500 megawatts of energy from offshore by 2035 will be met.

On Thursday, the two organizations announced they had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to lay the foundation to work together to develop and construct offshore wind transmission infrastructure for New Jersey — if NextEra Energy is selected by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

NextEra Energy Transmission MidAtlantic is one of 13 companies bidding for the project. It has submitted a number of proposals, collectively called the N.J. Seawind Connector, to the BPU to support the transmission needed to achieve the state’s offshore wind goals.

The BPU has said it will make an announcement in early October.

Valle hopes the alliance is another check in the company’s favor.

“I look at this alliance bringing together the companies with the best experience in Europe and the best experience in the U.S.,” he said. “If you add up what we’ve been able to do, and then you marry that with the experience that WindGrid brings, I think it sets us apart even further from the rest of the competitors in terms of the ability to get this done.”

Valle notes that WindGrid’s parent company, Elia Group, already has enabled 5,000 megawatts and has 10,000 more in the pipeline — which, in total, would be twice as much as New Jersey is seeking.

Valle feels that type of experience pays off in a variety of ways — starting with the supply chain, which is growing in importance by the day.

“Think about our ability to leverage offshore wind vendors,” Valle said. “The world is supply constrained — ships are constrained; components are constrained — because there’s a heavy demand in Europe and in the U.S. right now. And it’s only going to grow.

“This brings together two companies that do a lot of work in this — we have the relationships.”

WindGrid builds on Elia Group’s unique offshore experience in both the North and Baltic seas in Europe.

To date, Elia Group has connected 13 wind farms to onshore grids and is currently operating three subsea cable interconnections. Elia Group is also working on new innovative projects such as hybrid interconnectors and energy islands.

WindGrid CEO Markus Laukamp said he feels the company is at the forefront of innovative approaches in offshore grid design and is well-positioned for playing a leading role in the shaping of future offshore grid projects. He hopes the next opportunity will come off the coast of New Jersey.

“We believe our offshore wind transmission experience will provide valuable insights and provide meaningful benefits if the NEETMA project is selected by the BPU,” he said. “Thanks to our industry-leading position in offshore electric transmission, we have access to and relationships with an extensive network of technical equipment suppliers with whom we collaborate to ensure we are integrating the latest technical innovations into each of our projects.

“Working with NEETMA, we expect to make a meaningful contribution to accelerating the energy transition in New Jersey.”

Valle said the partnerships will help the state meet its aggressive timeline of being up and running by the end of decade.

“There are going to be issues; there always are, we just don’t know what they are yet,” he said. “But, because we have the experience of having done this before, we’re going to be able to avoid some mistakes that somebody doing this for the first time would run into.

“I think that means a higher likelihood of the project coming in on schedule and under budget.”

Photo credit: ROI-NJ

Wind turbines farm in Baltic Sea, Denmark

NextEra, WindGrid to partner on NJ offshore wind efforts

NextEra Energy Transmission MidAtlantic (NEETMA) and WindGrid announced signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together on...

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Matthew Fazelpoor | NJBIZ | September 8, 2022

 

On Thursday, NextEra Energy Transmission MidAtlantic (NEETMA) and WindGrid announced signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together on offshore wind transmission infrastructure efforts in New Jersey.

The project hinges on approval by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

NEETMA submitted a number of proposals to the NJBPU for the NJ Seawind Connector to support transmission needed for the Garden State to reach its offshore wind goals. The NJ Seawind Connector boasts of solutions that would deliver the greatest offshore wind power with the least environmental and local community impacts.

“WindGrid and its parent Elia Group are leaders in engineering, construction and operation of offshore electric transmission projects and we’re pleased to be collaborating with them on our New Jersey proposals,” said Matt Valle, president, NextEra Energy Transmission. “We believe we are well-positioned to help New Jersey achieve its clean energy goals and we look forward to working with all stakeholders on making this important project a success.”

To date, Elia Group has connected 13 wind farms to onshore grids and is currently operating three subsea cable interconnections. The company is also working on new innovative projects such as hybrid interconnectors and energy islands.

“We believe our offshore wind transmission experience will provide valuable insights and provide meaningful benefits if the NEETMA project is selected by the BPU,” said Markus Laukamp, chief executive officer of WindGrid. “Working with NEETMA, we expect to make a meaningful contribution to accelerating the energy transition in New Jersey.”

Photo credit: NJBIZ

Wind turbines on the ocean

NextEra, WindGrid Join Forces on Offshore Wind Transmission Infrastructure Proposal

NextEra Energy Transmission MidAtlantic and WindGrid announced Thursday they have signed a memorandum of understanding to lay the foundation to work together to...

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NJBIA | September 8, 2022

 

NextEra Energy Transmission MidAtlantic and WindGrid announced Thursday they have signed a memorandum of understanding to lay the foundation to work together to develop and build offshore wind transmission infrastructure for New Jersey, if selected by state regulators.

NextEra Energy Transmission MidAtlantic (NEETMA), a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Transmission, LLC, has submitted several proposals, collectively called the NJ Seawind Connector, to the state Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to support the transmission needed to connect offshore wind to the existing grid.

The BPU is currently working with PJM Interconnection, the regional grid operator, to evaluate more than a dozen electric transmission project proposal applications from various companies seeking to  integrate energy generated from offshore wind facilities to help the state reach its target goal of 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind capacity by the year 2035. The BPU is expected to make its decision later this fall.

“WindGrid and its parent Elia Group are leaders in the engineering, construction and operation of offshore electric transmission projects and we’re pleased to be collaborating with them on our New Jersey proposals,” said Matt Valle, president, NextEra Energy Transmission. “We believe we are well-positioned to help New Jersey achieve its clean energy goals and we look forward to working with all stakeholders on making this important project a success.”

NEETMA said its NJ Seawind Connector proposal offers New Jersey multiple solutions that would collectively deliver offshore wind power with the least impact to the environment and local communities. According to the company, its design offers the “most cost-effective approach to meeting New Jersey’s clean energy needs, while protecting utility customers and providing BPU additional optionality, expandability and flexibility, and high-quality offshore wind transmission infrastructure.”

WindGrid builds on Elia Group’s unique offshore experience in both the North and Baltic seas in Europe. To date, Elia Group has connected 13 wind farms to onshore grids and is currently operating three subsea cable interconnections. Elia Group is also working on new innovative projects such as hybrid interconnectors and energy islands. The company is at the forefront of innovative approaches in offshore grid design and is well-positioned for playing a leading role in the shaping of future offshore grid projects.

 “We believe our offshore wind transmission experience will provide valuable insights and provide meaningful benefits if the NEETMA project is selected by the BPU,” said WindGrid CEO Markus Laukamp. “Thanks to our industry-leading position in offshore electric transmission, we have access to and relationships with an extensive network of technical equipment suppliers with whom we collaborate to ensure we are integrating the latest technical innovations into each of our projects. Working with NEETMA, we expect to make a meaningful contribution to accelerating the energy transition in New Jersey,” Laukamp said.
 

NextEra Energy Transmission

NextEra Energy Transmission develops, finances, constructs, and maintains transmission assets across the continent. NextEra Energy Transmission operates through its regional subsidiaries to integrate renewable energy and strengthen the electric grid. The company’s subsidiaries were among the first non-incumbents to be awarded projects by system operators and utility commissions in California, New York, Texas, and Ontario. NextEra Energy Transmission’s portfolio includes operating assets in 10 states, six regional transmission organizations and one Canadian province, with numerous projects under development and construction.
 

Elia Group

Elia Group is a key player in European electricity transmission. Through its subsidiaries in Belgium (Elia) and the north and east of Germany (50Hertz), it operates 19,192 km of high-voltage connections at land and sea, making it one of Europe’s top 5 transmission system operators. In addition to its activities as a system operator, Elia provides various consulting services (via Elia Grid International) and seeks to be a reliable partner (via WindGrid) for governments that want to proactively build offshore grid infrastructure, as well as renewable energy developers looking for solutions which will allow them to securely connect and integrate their offshore energy projects into the onshore grid.

Photo credit: NJBIA

A single wind turbine with a deep blue sky background

NextEra Energy Transmission MidAtlantic and WindGrid announce agreement to work together in support of New Jersey offshore wind transmission proposal

NextEra Energy Transmission MidAtlantic (NEETMA), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to lay the foundation to work together to...

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InsiderNJ | September 8, 2022

 

JUNO BEACH, Fla.  – NextEra Energy Transmission MidAtlantic (NEETMA), a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Transmission, LLC, and WindGrid, a subsidiary of Elia Group, today announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to lay the foundation to work together to develop and construct offshore wind transmission infrastructure for New Jersey if selected by the Board of Public Utilities (BPU).

“WindGrid and its parent Elia Group are leaders in the engineering, construction and operation of offshore electric transmission projects and we’re pleased to be collaborating with them on our New Jersey proposals,” said Matt Valle, president, NextEra Energy Transmission. “We believe we are well-positioned to help New Jersey achieve its clean energy goals and we look forward to working with all stakeholders on making this important project a success.”

NEETMA has submitted a number of proposals, collectively called the NJ Seawind Connector, to the BPU to support the transmission needed to achieve the state’s offshore wind goals. The NJ Seawind Connector offers New Jersey multiple solutions that would collectively deliver to the state the greatest offshore wind power with the least impact to the environment and local communities. NEETMA’s superior design offers the most cost-effective approach to meeting New Jersey’s clean energy needs, while protecting utility customers and providing BPU additional optionality, expandability and flexibility, and high-quality offshore wind transmission infrastructure to meet the state’s future energy needs.

WindGrid builds on Elia Group’s unique offshore experience in both the North and Baltic seas in Europe. To date, Elia Group has connected 13 wind farms to onshore grids and is currently operating three subsea cable interconnections. Elia Group is also working on new innovative projects such as hybrid interconnectors and energy islands. The company is at the forefront of innovative approaches in offshore grid design and is well-positioned for playing a leading role in the shaping of future offshore grid projects.

“We believe our offshore wind transmission experience will provide valuable insights and provide meaningful benefits if the NEETMA project is selected by the BPU. Thanks to our industry-leading position in offshore electric transmission, we have access to and relationships with an extensive network of technical equipment suppliers with whom we collaborate to ensure we are integrating the latest technical innovations into each of our projects. Working with NEETMA, we expect to make a meaningful contribution to accelerating the energy transition in New Jersey,” said Markus Laukamp, chief executive officer of WindGrid.

NextEra Energy Transmission

NextEra Energy Transmission develops, finances, constructs, and maintains transmission assets across the continent. NextEra Energy Transmission operates through its regional subsidiaries to integrate renewable energy and strengthen the electric grid. The company’s subsidiaries were among the first non-incumbents to be awarded projects by system operators and utility commissions in California, New York, Texas, and Ontario. NextEra Energy Transmission’s portfolio includes operating assets in 10 states, six regional transmission organizations and one Canadian province, with numerous projects under development and construction. To learn more, visit www.NextEraEnergyTransmission.com.
 

Elia Group

Elia Group is a European key player in electricity transmission. Through our subsidiaries in Belgium (Elia) and the north and east of Germany (50Hertz), we operate 19,192 km of high-voltage connections at land and sea, meaning that we are one of Europe’s top 5 transmission system operators. In addition to our activities as a system operator, we provide various consulting services (via Elia Grid International) and want to be a reliable partner (via WindGrid) for governments that want to proactively build offshore grid infrastructure and renewable energy developers that are looking for solutions which will allow them to securely connect and integrate their offshore energy projects into the onshore grid. www.eliagroup.eu

Energy’s role in N.J.’s future: 5 questions with Becky Walding of NextEra Energy Transmission

Learn more about what Becky Walding, Executive director of development at NextEra Energy Transmission has to say about energy's role in NJ's...

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ROI-NJ | June 24, 2022


Becky Walding | Executive director of development | NextEra Energy Transmission

What is your organization’s role in the clean energy space?

“NextEra Energy is the world’s largest generator of clean, renewable energy from the wind and sun. We have unrivaled experience completing complex, large-scale energy projects, getting them done on time and on budget all while putting customers first, prioritizing the environment and working with local communities to create jobs and limit disruptions. We have been powering New Jersey for nearly a quarter-century. We currently operate solar, battery energy storage and distributed energy projects in the state with more in development.“

How does your organization promote and enable greater energy efficiency and sustainability?

“NextEra Energy is a global leader in clean, renewable energy and is at the forefront of efforts to decarbonize the U.S. We believe in respecting the environment and sustaining communities. While we currently provide 13% of the state’s power, our contributions in New Jersey have gone far deeper. We counsel local businesses on how to reach clean energy goals, operate battery storage facilities and dozens of distributed generation solar sites on buildings from Cape May to High Point, with more clean energy projects on the way for New Jersey, including delivering on offshore wind transmission.“

What are the biggest challenges New Jersey faces today in its efforts to transition from oil and gas to renewable energy?

“Utilizing cleaner sources of energy will take a significant investment, but it’s one that will pay off in the end for both the state and New Jersey ratepayers. The benefits far outweigh the cost, but that’s why its critically important that large-scale energy projects contain cost containment measures at every step to protect ratepayers and ensure they get done on time and on budget.”

How do your organization’s efforts play into economic and environmental advancements?

“NextEra Energy’s efforts to support clean energy are expected to reduce emissions and drive economic development through new investment. It is estimated that offshore wind alone will generate thousands of good-paying jobs and billions in economic activity for New Jersey. Reducing the state’s carbon footprint through the expansion of clean, renewable energy will help to improve air quality and protect habitats and wildlife. Our unique design for offshore wind transmission follows through on that commitment by reducing community, marine and environmental impacts by up to 70%. We also have the expertise and experience to support the state’s efforts to expand electric vehicles and network of EV charging stations in helping New Jersey achieve its broader clean energy goals.”

What do you see as New Jersey’s biggest long-term obstacles to getting to net zero by 2050?

“We applaud Gov. Phil Murphy’s bold vision to go 100% renewable energy by 2050. Other states are looking at what New Jersey is doing and looking to replicate it at home. The most important thing the state of New Jersey can do is choose partners who have the experience, expertise and financial resources to get the job done on time and on budget. Not only must they share Gov. Murphy’s vision, but be capable of building out new infrastructure that can meet New Jersey’s clean energy future while keeping costs down for customers.”

NextEra Energy Transmission Bringing Experience to Offshore Wind Projects

NextEra Energy Transmission President Matt Valle and Executive Director of Development Becky Walding talked with host Bob Considine about...

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neetma-yt-long.jpg

NJBIA | June 21, 2022


NextEra Energy Transmission President Matt Valle and Executive Director of Development Becky Walding talked with host Bob Considine about how the company delivers offshore electric wind power to the mainland and the experience NextEra brings to the industry and the state.

Currently, NextEra Energy Transmission is a strong contender to build a transmission project for offshore wind turbines onto the mainland in New Jersey.

Valle told Considine that NextEra Energy Transmission would be able to able to serve as a collaborator for multiple entities involved in a transmission project, including the grid owner, the wind developer and vendors providing technology.

“We look at ourselves as in between all of these,” Valle said. “So we are looking to make sure we collaborate well with the wind developers, the grid and there are a lot of state and federal permitting issues.

“Picking the right partner that can navigate those issues, that can get something done in the face of challenges, that can collaborate with others and persist I think is really important to the state.”

Sharing their experience: NextEra Energy, national leader in transmission projects, has long history in N.J., too

There are plenty of reasons why NextEra Energy should be considered a strong contender to be selected to build the multibillion-dollar transmission...

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Tom Bergeron | ROI-NJ | June 1, 2022


There are plenty of reasons why NextEra Energy should be considered a strong contender to be selected to build the multibillion-dollar transmission project that will bring the energy created by offshore wind turbines onto the land, and thus make it available for use.

  • With a market cap of $149 billion, NextEra Energy easily is the largest of the 13 firms that are bidding for the job;
  • As the operators of a similar project off the coast of the San Francisco Bay — and approximately 75% of all such projects in the U.S. — NextEra Energy easily is the most experienced;
  • And, since its business model is to win bids across the country, rather than simply to earn awards based on its dominant place in a geography, NextEra Energy has experience with — and attention to — cost containment.

But NextEra officials are not relying on past performance to win arguably the most important Request for Proposals in the state’s quest to become the East Coast leader in wind energy production. They feel their proposals are different from the 80 combined ideas the 13 companies collectively have submitted, for one simple reason: their view of the future.

While the state asked all respondents to provide a plan that would be able to transmit 7,500 megawatts of energy from offshore by 2035 — in line with Gov. Phil Murphy’s green energy goals — NextEra Energy is believed to be the only one that has proposed a transmission system capable of handling nearly 12,000 MW.

In the simplest of New Jersey analogies, NextEra is suggesting building a turnpike of transmission that will not need to be widened down the line — a widening process that will prove far more costly and far more disruptive to the environment and local communities than doing it all once at the start.

NextEra officials, who feel the state has positioned itself to be the leader in this sector, said New Jersey should act now to maintain that advantage for years and decades to come by building the biggest transmission system possible.

Matt Valle, president of NextEra Energy Transmission — a subsidiary of NextEra Energy — views it this way.

“I think the state’s got to pick: Do you want to buy something now that just solves the immediate round solicitations — or do you want to think a little bit further into the future,” he said.

Becky Walding, the executive director of development at NextEra Energy Transmission, agreed. She’s confident NextEra’s push to go all-in is the right one for the state.

“Offshore wind is going to be what the state needs to meet a lot of its renewable goals,” she said.

To be sure, NextEra officials also are eager to point to their past performances as a reason to be selected. The company, they said, not only has the size to commit to a larger project, it has the experience to handle the inevitable issues that will arise.

The reason: NextEra Energy can be considered two companies in one. It has owned and operated a regulated utility, Florida Power & Light (which serves 5.6 million customers), since 1925. But, it later started NextEra Energy Resources, a company it said is the “largest generator of power from the sun and the wind” in the world, one that has done large-scale projects in more than 35 states.

“We have two elements to our DNA,” Valle said. “Because we own a utility, we understand the importance of reliability — keeping the lights on, keeping the bills low — in an industry that obviously is highly regulated.

“Then there’s the renewable energy piece, which shows we not only know how to build things around the country, but be successful in competitive biddings.

“Nobody else does what we do at our scale.”

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities currently is reviewing the proposed solutions and gathering information on them. NextEra officials — as well as those from the other 12 companies in the process — already have presented to the BPU, which is expected to make a decision in October.

Whoever is selected will begin working in earnest to not only create the physical structure needed for the transmission, but begin working with local municipalities on the Jersey Shore about how these transmission “roads” will impact their communities. It also will begin working with those who capture the wind energy offshore and distribute the energy on land — as it will essentially control the piece of the process that connects the two.

Most feel it will be approximately five years before the state begins to see the energy benefits of the plan. Of course, that will line up with the time the state’s first offshore turbines began operation.

Valle and Walding recently spoke with ROI-NJ about NextEra’s expertise and all things green energy in the state. Here’s a look at the conversation, edited for space and clarity:

ROI: Despite your enormous size, many people in New Jersey likely are not familiar with the company and may not know you have had a presence in the state for more than 20 years. How are you currently involved in New Jersey?

Becky Walding: We have one large-scale solar project and battery project in West Deptford and then 68 distributed solar projects (which means the company provides supplies close to the end-user on a specific project, as opposed to a solar farm that serves a community).

We’ve been very active doing distributed solar here, because New Jersey doesn’t have a lot of land for larger projects; we’ve tried to meet the needs of New Jersey with what it has. So, we’ve done a lot of rooftop commercial and industrial-type solar facilities, working perhaps with individual colleges, hospitals or commercial properties. It’s been more of a function of the opportunity here.

Now that the state has set its clean energy goals, there’s more of an opportunity for NextEra to step in make a bigger investment, which is what we want to do.

ROI: NextEra is huge in the transmission business, especially when it comes to offshore wind energy. Can you talk about your overall experience in the space?

Matt Valle: We have thousands of miles of transmission built in Florida and all around the country in electric, solar and battery. But, one of the assets we have that we obviously think is really important to this project is transmission in the ocean to bring in offshore wind.

We are the owner and operator of a submarine cable that comes into downtown San Francisco that supplies 40% of the city’s power. Realize, the energy that’s going into them is from the wind, so it’s constantly going up and down all day. If that cable goes out, massive problems would occur. We have to manage that. This is not just flipping a power switch on and off. These are dynamic systems.

The partner you select better be able to problem-solve because there are obstacles that come up. Having a team with the expertise to get through those issues is critical. This is one of the ways we feel we differentiate ourselves, because we already own and operate one of these systems.

ROI: Some of the offshore wind developers have partnered with transmission companies on their bids. Some might argue getting a company that is working with both the turbines and the transmission makes a lot of sense. What say you?

BW: Having the transmission piece done with takes a lot of risk off of the offshore developers. It will let them focus on getting their part finished. And then, all they have to do is hook up with us; we’ll be sitting there ready.

MV: There is a risk to putting all those eggs in one basket, too. You may hit issues with financing. You’re talking about a project that will cost billions of dollars. There’s no cheap way to do this.

ROI: But there could be a more cost-effective way. Or, at least, that’s one of the pitches of NextEra Energy when you presented to the BPU on April 12. Why do you feel you’ll be tough to beat on cost?

BW: You can never truly compare solutions, apples to apples, because they are all a little bit different, but we make sure all our projects contain strong cost containment. That’s part of our innovative culture. Because we compete in so many areas for so many contracts, we have learned how to innovate. That makes us different from a lot of utilities. Sometimes, we feel like we’re more like a technology company.

ROI: Will all that be enough? How confident are you about your chances of being selected?

MV: We don’t know what factors they are going to weigh more than others. I think we have certainly a lot going for our bid and we have tried to comprehensively address as many of the state’s objectives with how we designed our proposal. We feel good about it. But there are a lot of factors that go into a decision like this.

For instance, we have been powering New Jersey for nearly a quarter-century, and yet few know who we are. That’s why we think it’s really important for us to tell a bit of our story, explain who we are.

And we’re not a common brand you find in a grocery store or at a mall. If you lived in Florida, you would know Florida Power & Light. But even there, this is the other arm of NextEra Energy.

I think that’s kind of the ground that our team has to cover in the next couple of months, so that people know who we are: a reliable partner who can get this done.

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Is N.J. headed in right direction when it comes to green energy? Why these execs say, ‘Yes’

NextEra Energy is one of the largest utility companies in the country — and the only one that both operates a full-scale utility (Florida Power & Light) and...

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Tom Bergeron | ROI-NJ | June 1, 2022


NextEra Energy is one of the largest utility companies in the country — and the only one that both operates a full-scale utility (Florida Power & Light) and runs a transmission business that works with electrical, wind and solar projects around the country.

Two of its top executives gave New Jersey high marks for is green energy plans.

Matt Valle, the president of NextEra Energy Transmission, its transmission arm, said the state is right to take the lead on offshore wind.

“I think many states in this country are thinking about, ‘How do you get to zero carbon?’” he said. “You see it with climate change, and we’re reminded about the importance of energy independence with the rise in gas prices.

“Every state is going to solve the problem differently. New Jersey has been doing certainly a number of things with solar over the years; this is a big next step. I think, given New Jersey’s geography, with some of the best offshore wind in the country, it makes a ton of sense to go get it. Offshore wind is going to meaningfully move the needle.”

The state currently is seeking bids for a massive transmission project that aims to serve all future offshore wind programs.

Becky Walding, the development lead for NextEra Energy Transmission (one of 13 companies that put in a bid for the project) said the state has moved ahead of the rest of the country.

“I think it puts New Jersey ahead for good because it sets you up to be able to expand so much easier than anybody else,” she said. “Nobody else is developing the framework that will allow you to be able just to connect what you need.

“We’re starting to see other states follow. They are looking at the New Jersey process and saying: ‘That’s pretty innovative. We want to try that now.’”

Valle said the amount of offshore wind energy that’s in play also is turning heads.

“The amount of megawatts that we’re talking about here versus the state’s electrical load is significant,” he said. “This is not a feel-good project, one demonstration pilot, this is changing kind of the future of New Jersey and energy.”