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The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on Wednesday selected the Larrabee Tri-Collector Solution 1, a proposal jointly submitted by Mid-Atlantic Offshore Development (MAOD), and Jersey Central Power & Light (JCPL), as the offshore wind transmission solution for the state.

In addition, the BPU awarded smaller onshore grid upgrade projects to Atlantic City Electric, BGE, LS Power, PECO, PPL, PSE&G, and Transource. These upgrades are needed to enable the capacity injection afforded by the Larrabee Tri-Collector Solution (LTCS). Together, the LTCS and various onshore projects represent over $1 billion in infrastructure projects.

The BPU received 80 different project proposals from 13 different entities seeking to be chosen to connect the existing onshore power grid to the energy that will be produced by offshore wind turbines. BPU staff worked with state agencies and PJM Interconnection, the operator of the region’s power grid, to evaluate the various proposals and recommend which would best enable the state to meet its clean energy goals of integrating 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2035.

“The solution presented to the board will ensure to New Jersey customers at a cost as efficiently as possible, saving an estimated $900 million while reducing environmental and community impacts and maintaining safe and reliable electrical service,” said Andrea Hart, a BPU attorney, who outlined the recommendations to the board during its meeting.

MAOD is a joint venture of EDF Renewables-North America and Shell New Energies U.S.  MAOD has partnered with FirstEnergy’s JCPL on the Larrabee Tri-Collector Solution project.

New Jersey is the first state in the nation to use a State Agreement Approach (SAA), a competitive solicitation for transmission projects from a broad pool of regional developers in order to spur efficiencies that lower costs and spur greater innovation. Under the SAA process, PJM designed a transmission solicitation together with board staff that was issued in April 2021 and closed in September 2021.

According to the BPU order adopted on Wednesday, “The MAOD-JCP&L Option 1b Solution is estimated to cost $504 million. The necessary Option 1a upgrades PJM identified are estimated to cost an additional $575 million. Therefore, the total cost for the onshore Option 1 upgrades for the full Larrabee Tri-Collector Solution is $1.08 billion, or $1.03 per month for the average residential customer.”

A key component of the board’s decision is to require a successful bidder to New Jersey’s third offshore wind generation solicitation to prebuild a single corridor from the shore crossing to the LTCS. This single corridor will be designed to be utilized by offshore wind projects needed to reach 7,500 MW. This will result in a single onshore transmission corridor which will reduce environmental impact, community disruption, and permitting risks.

The board anticipates issuing the third solicitation in early 2023.