NJ Legislature Acts To Move on Off-Shore Wind

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Advocates urge Governor Christie to Lead or Get out of the Way

Environment New Jersey

Trenton Monday, the New Jersey State Assembly passed a proposal that could help resusitate efforts to bring off-shore wind to New Jersey. The proposal, co-sponsored by Senator Bob Smith (D-Middlesex) and Senator Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic), requires the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to reopen a 30-day period for Fishermen’s Energy to resubmit an application for a demonstration off-shore wind project off Atlantic City. The demonstration project would be a five-turbine, 25-megawatt project that would help provide clean energy jobs to the state while reducing harmful global warming pollution.

More than 1.5 million acres off the Atlantic Coast — including close to 344,000 acres off the Jersey Shore — have already been designated by state and federal officials for off-shore wind power development and more are being considered.  These areas could produce more than 16,000 megawatts – including more than 3,400 megawatts from New Jersey alone — of virtually pollution-free electricity. These total areas of off-shore wind development could equal as much as 16 fossil-fuel burning power plants—making offshore wind an attractive option for states developing plans to shift to clean energy to achieve the targets in Clean Power Plan, recently finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this August. 

In response to the passage of the proposal by the State Assembly, Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey said: 

“There is strong demand for offshore wind in New Jersey, and the passage of this proposal by Senator Smith and Senator Whelan is a promising step in the right direction. New Jersey has amazing potential to be a leader in offshore wind and move towards a clean energy future. With support from both the public and the state legislature, we urge Governor Christie to support offshore wind.” 

Paul Gallagher, COO of Fisherman’s Energy said:

“Fishermen’s appreciates the continued support of the New Jersey Legislature. We look forward to the Governor and the Board of Public Utilities recognizing the support expressed by this series of affirmative votes which themselves reflect the consistent support of the people of New Jersey for offshore wind development and the economic impact it will bring.

Fishermen’s is prepared to submit a new project for BPU review, using proven turbines, traditional financing and an even lower price reflecting DOE grant support and the availability of the Investment Tax Credit.  It’s time to build the Atlantic City Wind farm; let’s get started.” 

This decision by the State Assembly comes on the heels of another promising decision by the New Jersey Senate Environment and Energy Committee who passed a measure calling for an 80% renewable energy standard in the state by 2050, with an 11% requirement beginning next year and increasing by 10% every five years.