Leading Light Wind, An American-Led Offshore Wind Project, Awarded Contract By State Of New Jersey; Ushers In New Era For Domestic Clean Energy Transition
LEADING LIGHT WIND WILL SUPPLY NEW JERSEY WITH 2,400 MW OF CLEAN ENERGY – ENOUGH TO POWER MORE THAN 1 MILLION HOMES – FROM OVER 40 MILES OFFSHORE
$3.7 BILLION IN ANTICIPATED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BENEFITS AND CREATION OF UP TO 7,500 JOBS FOR THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PROJECT INCLUDES MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN TRANSFORMATIONAL LOCAL INVESTMENTS
January 24, 2024 –The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities today announced it has awarded a 2,400-megawatt contract to Leading Light Wind in its highly competitive third offshore wind solicitation. A partnership between two American companies - lead developer Invenergy and co-developer energyRe, the project is now the largest competitively awarded offshore wind project in the U.S. Leading Light Wind will build upon its proven track record and commitment to responsible, clean energy development to help realize a thriving offshore wind industry and supply chain in the Garden State.
Once operational, the project, located over 40 miles off the coast, will supply New Jersey with 2,400 MW of clean energy – enough to power more than 1 million homes. The project is scheduled to begin construction in 2028, with operations in the full lease area estimated to begin in 2032. Leading Light Wind will reduce carbon emissions by 4.1 million tons each year over the full life of the project.
“We thank the Board of Public Utilities and applaud their leadership in staying the course toward New Jersey’s energy transition goals and commend the state for recognizing the importance of prioritizing American offshore wind know-how to lead the clean energy transition. Invenergy, Leading Light Wind's lead developer, is committed to cultivating American innovation and is optimistic that today's decision will unlock future opportunities for the next wave of American companies in this important domestic industry," said Wes Jacobs, Senior Project Director, Offshore Wind Development, Invenergy. "This is an immensely exciting beginning to a long-term partnership between Leading Light Wind and New Jersey. Our team is poised and ready to deliver an environmentally responsible project that advances a healthier, more sustainable future for all.”
“Leading Light Wind will chart a clean energy future for New Jersey and lay the foundation for a thriving domestic offshore wind industry,” said Ryan Brown, Chief Operating Officer of energyRe. “Working hand in hand with our partners, we are ready to deliver state-of-the-art clean energy infrastructure, local resiliency, and robust economic development for the Garden State. energyRe is proud to lead American innovation in offshore wind and accelerate a reliable U.S. energy transition that serves current and future generations.”
Leading Light Wind will bring major economic investment to New Jersey, creating an estimated 7,500 jobs and $3.7 billion in anticipated economic development benefits for the state. These benefits include localizing a wind turbine generator (WTG) tower manufacturing facility in New Jersey and performing marshalling activities at the New Jersey Wind Port; the expansion of the EEW American Offshore Structures monopile manufacturing facility; and development of an in-state operations and maintenance port.
In addition, Leading Light Wind has allocated up to $150 million for a comprehensive community benefits program. This program features 25 initial partnerships and opportunities that aim to empower local communities, promote youth education and workforce inclusivity, accelerate the growth of the domestic offshore wind supply chain, and pioneer collaborative environmental research in partnership with academic institutions, other ocean users and more. Key community benefit program initiatives include:
The Energy Equity Credit: This innovative program will reduce the energy burden for over 200,000 low-income households in New Jersey by reducing their monthly electricity bill increase by 50% to support an equitable transition.
The Waves to Wind program: A catalytic training program designed to position existing Small, Minority, Woman and Veteran-owned Business Enterprises for success in the offshore wind industry.
The Fisheries Accelerator Fund: This fund will provide financial assistance to support emerging technology and initiatives aimed at improving the efficiency, sustainability, or economic vitality of the fishing industry.
The project has also established a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with New Jersey labor unions that prioritizes union construction for the project and supports lifelong career opportunities in the offshore wind sector. The MOU endorses hiring and training practices to promote a diverse, next-generation workforce. As a part of Leading Light Wind’s larger community benefits program, the project will activate strategic partnerships with several educational, career, and workforce institutions across the Garden State.
Leading Light Wind’s commitment to an equitable industry is reinforced by its investor group, which includes Invenergy, energyRe, Blackstone Infrastructure, CDPQ, Ullico Infrastructure Fund, and FirstLight. Leading Light Wind’s unique investor group combines renewable energy and trusted investment funds that unite the labor community and renewable energy industry to support the inclusive and collaborative development of offshore wind in the New York Bight.
Leading Light Wind’s Partners Agree:
“The project announced today not only renews New Jersey as a leader in advancing offshore wind, but it is a down payment in the fight to reduce air pollution and climate change. This important offshore wind project will result in improved public health for communities overburdened with air pollution, create good-paying local union jobs, and lead us to energy independence," said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director, New Jersey LCV. "We stand with Governor Murphy, the BPU and our offshore wind partners as they continue to ensure New Jersey is a leader in our nation’s growing offshore wind industry and the good jobs and cleaner air wind energy provides benefit the state. We remain fully committed to building a 21st century economy powered by clean, responsibly developed offshore wind.”
“As New Jersey’s largest research institution with interest in the innovations of the offshore wind industry, Rutgers University looks forward to working closely with the Leading Light team to build their project responsibly via strategic partnerships including support for marine and fisheries research and monitoring tools to better understand the environment and improve how offshore wind projects collect and share data from the ocean,” said Josh Kohut, Professor of Marine and Coastal Sciences and Co-Chair, Rutgers Offshore Wind Energy Collaborative.
"The Leading Light Wind project is an enormous opportunity for the state of New Jersey, and the New Jersey Building Trades looks forward to being a part of it,” said Bill Mullen, President, New Jersey Building and Construction Trades Council. “As an organization committed to the advancement of skilled labor and sustainable development, we see this project as a win-win. Leading Light Wind is a prime example of how innovative energy solutions can create significant job opportunities and bolster the economy, aligning perfectly with our vision for a sustainable and prosperous New Jersey."
"The New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce applauds the BPU for awarding the Leading Light Wind project in today’s offshore wind solicitation announcement, a testament to New Jersey's leadership in clean energy and economic innovation," said Michael Egenton, Executive Vice President, New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce. “This project is a beacon of progress that will create thousands of jobs and stimulate our local economy. Leading Light Wind is setting a precedent for how businesses and communities can thrive together in a more sustainable world."
“We are excited to partner with American-led Leading Light Wind which will enable EEW AOS’s Paulsboro monopile facility,” said Lee Laurendeau, CEO of EEW-AOS. “This will create significant family-sustaining jobs and economic opportunity for New Jerseyans. I thank Leading Light Wind for prioritizing domestic manufacturing and value our relationship as a trusted, credible partner in the clean energy industry.”
“Congratulations to the Leading Light Wind team on their award from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities," said Paulina O'Connor, Executive Director of the New Jersey Offshore Wind Alliance. “The newly formed NJOWA is excited to work with Leading Light Wind and the entire industry on this new chapter for New Jersey’s nation-leading clean energy future.”
About Leading Light Wind
Leading Light Wind is an American-led offshore wind project that will bring locally sourced, renewable energy to the East Coast. Developed by Invenergy and energyRe, we believe in empowering the communities where we live and work. Leading Light Wind will build on our track record of impactful community engagement and innovation in sustainable American infrastructure to advance public health, create good-paying jobs, and support our local supply chain. Learn more at Leadinglightwind.com.
Invenergy drives innovation in energy. Invenergy and its affiliated companies develop, own, and operate large-scale renewable and other clean energy generation and storage facilities in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. With its headquarters in Chicago, Invenergy has regional offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Japan, Poland, and Scotland.
Invenergy and its affiliated companies have successfully developed more than 31,000 megawatts of projects that are in operation, construction, or contracted, including wind, solar, transmission infrastructure and natural gas power generation and advanced energy storage projects. Learn about Invenergy at Invenergy.com.
energyRe, LLC is a leading independent clean energy company focused on solving complex challenges and providing clean energy solutions in utility-scale offshore and onshore wind and solar generation, energy storage, transmission, and distributed generation. energyRe's founding investors include principals of Related Companies, one of the nation's most prominent privately-owned real estate firms and one of the country's largest creators and preservationists of affordable housing. energyRe is led by an experienced executive management team and is guided by the values of community engagement, government partnership, and a demonstrated commitment to sustainability. energyRe has offices in New York, Houston, Indianapolis, and Charleston. For more information about energyRe, visit www.energyre.com.