The first three major construction contracts have been awarded for the 1,100-MW Ocean Wind 1 offshore project that will provide electricity to New Jersey.
Ocean Wind 1 is a joint venture between Ørsted and Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), which provides electricity for much of New Jersey. Those groups on April 25 announced Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co. and JINGOLI Power have been contracted to install two high-voltage substations, along with almost nine miles of underground cable, that will connect the offshore wind farm to the onshore electric grid at two landfall points near Atlantic City.
Engineering for the project began earlier this year, and construction is expected to start in September of next year. The Ocean Wind 1 site is about 15 miles off the coast of southern New Jersey. It is part of the state’s plan to install at least 7,500 MW of offshore wind generation capacity by 2035.
Ocean Wind 1 will utilize more than 90 of GE’s Haliade X 12-MW wind turbines.
“We are excited to be selected as EPC [engineering, procurement, construction] contractor to deliver the onshore components for Ocean Wind 1, a project that is the first of its kind in the State of New Jersey,” said Jason Cabral, vice president, Burns & McDonnell. Cabral told POWER, “We look forward to supporting Governor Murphy’s vision of 7.5 GW of offshore wind out of our Morristown, N.J., office and are thrilled to partner with Ørsted, PSEG, and local New Jersey companies to bring high-paying, blue- and white-collar jobs to the state.”
“This is a groundbreaking project for many reasons, but chief among them is how it will be built: with union labor and job opportunities for residents and teens from the communities where we dig in,” said Joseph R. Jingoli, Jr., CEO and co-founder of New Jersey-based JINGOLI Power.
Jingoli told POWER, “We expect our staffing model will set a new standard for clean energy projects to empower the next generation of working men and women building the country’s most critical infrastructure.”
“The awarding of these construction contracts marks significant milestones in moving the state’s first offshore wind project forward,” said Grant van Wyngaarden, Head of Procurement for Ørsted North America. “We are focused on doing all we can to meet the state’s timeline for delivering the Ocean Wind 1 project, hiring locally, creating job opportunities, and encouraging supply chain growth to help the offshore wind industry mature in New Jersey.”
For more background on the U.S. offshore wind sector, read “Offshore Wind Finding Direction in U.S.” in the May 2020 issue of POWER. Also check out “Report Touts Huge Potential of Offshore Wind” on our website.
New Jersey officials have said the project will create about 275 jobs, including more than 200 for the construction phase. Ørsted recently announced an office location in Newark, N.J., that will house the company’s information technology, operations, and other project and company support staff for its New Jersey offshore wind projects. That includes both Ocean Wind 1 and Ocean Wind 2, the latter a 1,148-MW project that will be built adjacent to Ocean Wind 1.
“Burns & McDonnell is honored to be selected by Ørsted and PSEG to deliver this critical project that will further drive the sustainable energy transition in the U.S.,” said Ray Kowalik, chairman and CEO of Burns & McDonnell. “With our firm’s experience in the continually expanding offshore wind market and our rapidly growing teams in New Jersey and the Northeast, we are well positioned to execute on this project that will create high-paying local union jobs and provide efficient, sustainable energy to New Jersey for years to come.”
Two Major Projects Approved
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) gave the go-ahead for Ocean Wind 1 in 2019, and approved Ocean Wind 2 in June of last year. Both projects will contribute to an expansion of the EEW Paulsboro monopile facility at the Port of Paulsboro in New Jersey. EEW is a global steel pipe manufacturer.
Ørsted also has a commitment from GE Renewables to locate what will be one of the country’s first offshore wind nacelle assembly facilities in New Jersey, a factory that could assemble nacelles for U.S. offshore wind projects developed by Ørsted and other companies. Nacelles are one of the most complex parts of a wind turbine, including the generator, drive train and brake assembly, controllers, transformer, and switch gear.
The NJBPU in late February said it will release its next solicitation for offshore wind development by January 2023. The group said that offering will complement a “coordinated transmission solution to get offshore wind generated energy to New Jersey customers.” The group said the transmission solution will be selected from 80 projects submitted by transmission developers for consideration by the state.
‘Clean Energy Ambitions’
“Offshore wind is critical to helping New Jersey achieve its clean energy ambitions and these agreements mark a significant step in the process,” said Lathrop Craig, PSEG vice president of Wind Development. “In addition to ensuring the project remains on track, it’s essential we ensure that a breadth of diverse, qualified and talented workers have access to the many opportunities that this new industry affords.”
JINGOLI Power, based in Lawrenceville, N.J., will install an underground electric export cable from landfall to an onshore electric substation on a site known as B.L. England, located in the Beesley Point section of Upper Township in Cape May County, New Jersey. The location was formerly home to the B.L. England Generating Station, a 450-MW coal-fired power plant that closed in May 2019.
JINGOLI will engineer, procure, and install a duct bank/manhole system that will house the export cables.
“Ocean Wind 1 proves that we don’t have to choose between creating good jobs and fighting climate change. We can do both,” said Jingoli. “We’re extremely honored to have been selected by Ørsted and PSEG for this project, and we’re ready to get to work building this critical component of New Jersey’s clean energy economy.”
Burns & McDonnell will install a substation in Upper Township that includes an interconnection to a nearby Atlantic City Electric substation. The company also will install a substation at Oyster Creek, with an interconnection to a nearby First Energy substation, and install an underground export cable from the landfall to the onshore electric substation. The Oyster Creek site formerly was home to the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, a 636-MW Exelon plant that was shut down in September 2018.
Oyster Creek, which came online in December 1969, at the time of its closure was the oldest operating nuclear power plant in the U.S. (Check out this video of the plant’s history.)
Ørsted Growing U.S. Offshore Presence
Ørsted continues to grow its U.S. footprint with offshore wind. The group operates the Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island, America’s first offshore wind farm, and also built the two-turbine, 12-MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) pilot project, which features the first turbines to be installed in federal waters. The pilot project was designed as part of the development of the much-larger, 2.6-GW CVOW. Ørsted has secured more than 2,900 MW of additional capacity through five projects in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
Burns & McDonnell has expanded its collaborations in the offshore wind sector in recent years as part of the company’s EPC work. Among other projects, the company is doing FEED (Front End Engineering Design) for the Mayflower Wind project off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
—Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).