Today, the Trustees of Ørsted’s Pro-NJ Grantor Trust Fund announced details of the fund and the process to apply. The $15 million fund was established by Ørsted following the selection of its Ocean Wind offshore wind farm project by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in June 2019, with the goal of ensuring that the offshore wind industry in New Jersey is developed in a sustainable and inclusive way.
“As the offshore wind industry grows in the Garden State and beyond, small businesses need the capital and the opportunity to enter into this fast-growing new sector,” said Beverly McCall, Esquire, chairperson of the Pro-NJ Grantor Trust. “In the same vein, local towns and counties in Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties, undoubtedly will be eager to apply for funds to help them with coastal resiliency projects,” McCall added.
The first application window begins on February 1 and is dedicated to small, woman-owned and minority-owned businesses. Business owners who fit into those categories may pursue the first step in the process by visiting www.pronjtrust.org and downloading the Request for Expressions of Interest, beginning February 1. To help improve access to funds, the Trustees determined the best way for that to occur is for interested business owners to submit Expressions of Interest (EOI). Once the EOIs are reviewed by the Trustees and members of the Advisory Committee, qualified applicants will be invited to submit formal proposals.
The initial window to submit EOIs is set for three weeks, February 1 through close of business on February 19, and may be extended depending on the number of EOIs received. Following the award of funds to small, woman-owned and minority-owned businesses, the Trustees will publish a second Request for Expressions for Interest directed toward coastal municipalities and counties in Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties.
The following list represents some, but not all the fields the Trust seeks to fund:
- Onshore and offshore light logistics and services
- Marine vessel supply and maintenance
- Aviation supply and maintenance
- Buildings – construction and repair
- Professional services (communications, environmental/permitting, engineering, etc.)
- Turbine blade inspection and service
- Fuel service and supply
- Network/wireless communications supply, service, and repair
- Workforce training, trade/safety, etc.
- Cleaning and janitorial
- Food service and catering
- Onshore and offshore surveys
- Project and risk management
- Health and safety equipment and clothing
- Marine clothing/equipment supply
The Pro-NJ Grantor Trust is governed by three volunteer Trustees. Attorney Beverly McCall of Ocean City serves as board chair along with Belinda Manning, of Pleasantville, a retired organizational development professional and community volunteer/activist, and Lori Pepenella, of Barnegat, the CEO of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce. A community-based Advisory Committee comprised of nine individuals from Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties help support the Trust’s mission.
“We are thrilled the day has come to launch the Pro-NJ Grantor Trust initiative and I wish to thank Beverly, Belinda and Lori for their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication in creating the founding principles of the fund and for putting their many years in business and community involvement to work for us and for the small businesses and representatives of coastal communities who will be the recipients of these funds,” said David Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of Ørsted Offshore North America. “Ørsted believes that the offshore wind industry is an opportunity not just for developers but for local businesses as well.”
For more information or to receive updates on the Pro-NJ Grantor Trust, please visit www.pronjtrust.org.