An offshore wind farm set to open in the US state of New Jersey will be the largest of its kind in the US. The 1,100-megawatt watt project named Ocean Wind is expected to generate enough energy to power 500,000 homes. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) granted the state’s first award for offshore wind to the Danish energy company Ørsted and Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG). This brings the state a step closer towards achieving her goals of contracting 3.5GW of offshore wind by 2030 and eliminating carbon from its power supply by 2050.
Ocean Wind, which would be built in federal waters 15 miles offshore of Atlantic City is also expected to generate $1.17 billion in economic benefits and create about 15,000 jobs over the life of the project. The NJBPU’s decision marks the largest single award for an offshore wind project in the US to date, according to the state. The project, hailed as the single largest victory for renewable energy in the state’s history is expected to be completed in 2024
The cost of electricity generation from offshore wind farms has dropped dramatically in recent years but is still far higher than the cost of generating power from onshore wind farms. Electricity generated by Ocean Wind and other future offshore wind farms will need to be brought onto land to connect with the regional power grid.
How Nigeria can benefit
Nigeria is a country with a growing industrial base and 853 km of coastline stretching across several states including Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, rivers, Cross rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Delta. Its easy to imagine what an offshore wind farm can do for each of the coastal states.
Pollution control: Nigerian coastal cities are some of the most polluted cities in the country. Having a renewable source of energy like offshore wind can help wean the region off gas fired plants which contribute a great deal to air pollution in the region
Job Creation: Projects like Ocean Wind can create up to 15,000 jobs for residents in each of the states in the course of the project and retain a few thousands after that.
Boost national grid: Energy from these offshore wind farms, when added to the national grid can boost the national generation figures significantly.
Stakeholders and policymakers in the Nigerian energy sector should look more towards renewable energy sources like offshore solar farms as they are the future of the global energy sector with investment costs on a steady dive.