New Jersey to Take Lead in Offshore Wind Energy?

New Jersey passes law to encourage the development of 1,100 megawatts of new offshore wind energy capacity.

As the proposed Cape Wind offshore wind farm in Massachusetts fends off some last ditch legal challenges to become the first offshore wind farm in the U.S., New Jersey passed a law last week that would ultimately make it the leading provider of offshore wind energy in the country.

The Offshore Wind Economic Development Act directs the state’s Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to establish an offshore renewable energy certificate program that calls for a percentage of electricity sold in the state to be from offshore wind energy. The act would support the development of at least 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind energy capacity.

The bill was signed into law yesterday by Gov. Chris Christie yesterday at a former BP port facility that will be transformed into a regional hub for the offshore wind industry.

“Developing New Jersey’s renewable energy resources and industry is critical to our state’s manufacturing and technology future,” Christie said.

The package will offer incentives including financial aid and tax credits to attract wind energy developers to the state’s waters.

Two offshore wind development companies, Fishermen’s Energy and Deepwater Wind, already have plans to develop offshore wind energy off the coast of New Jersey.

A report released last year by the Interior Department said shallow-water offshore wind farms could supply as much as 20% of the electricity in most coastal states.

Article by Timothy B. Hurst, appearing courtesy Ecopolitology.

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