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New Jersey’s Offshore Wind Kerfuffle // DOE: America Needs More Transmission

Welcome to Grid Brief! Here’s what we’re looking at today: Ørsted backs out of offshore wind projects in New Jersey, the Department of Energy calls for more transmission to accommodate renewable energy, and more.

New Jersey’s Offshore Wind Kerfuffle

Ørsted, a Danish energy company, cancelled a fourth of its offshore wind projects in New Jersey.

“The company will ‘cease development’ on Ocean Wind 1 and 2, but said it will be moving ahead with the 700-MW Revolution Wind farm offshore Rhode Island and Connecticut along with partner Eversource,” reports Utility Dive. “Ocean Wind 1 and 2 were Ørsted’s largest projects in development, with a planned capacity of 1,100 MW and 1,148 MW, respectively.”

Ørsted is wracking up $4 billion in impairments as a result of the project cancellations.

New Jersey’s governor called the company’s decision “outrageous.”

Globally, the wind industry has been beset by inflation, manufacturing issues, and project overruns. Several companies, including Ørsted, have exited their power purchase agreements in the US.

The New Jersey situation further jeopardizes the Biden administration’s goal to achieve 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030. But the administration remains committed to the renewable energy technology.

"While the industry is facing a variety of challenges, BOEM and its federal partners remain committed to supporting the build out of this new industry in a way that will benefit communities, strengthen our nation’s energy security, and address the climate challenge," the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Director Liz Klein said.

DOE: America Needs More Transmission

According to a recent report from the Department of Energy, several of America needs substantially more transmission.

In order to accommodate the amount of wind and solar coming on the grid, within-region transmission will need to grow by 20%.

“This within-region transmission need increases to 64% (median result) to meet a future with high clean energy growth in 2035, which most closely represents the anticipated future power sector given all existing state and federal legislation,” reads the report. “This need rises again to 128%—a more than doubling of the current system—to meet a future with high load growth in 2035.”

As for interregional transmission, “capacity must grow by 25% to meet future moderate load and clean energy growth, by 114% to meet moderate load and high clean energy growth, and by 412% to meet high load growth futures by 2035.”

The report falls in line with the DOE’s previous calls to expand the US’s transmission network by 57%. But doing so would mean building 136,800 new lines. According to journalist Robert Bryce, at the present rate of expansion, building that many lines would take 80 years.

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