New Jersey has passed new legislation to help set up offshore wind farms in its waters. The Offshore Wind Economic Development Act will set up a program to provide a guaranteed income for companies that build offshore wind farms in the state.
State utilities would be required to buy a proportion of power from offshore wind projects to meet their state renewable energy targets, under an energy certificates program run by the Board of Public Utilities. The new law also provides $100 million in tax credits to help offshore wind energy developers.
New Jersey is hoping to support at lease 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind capacity through the measures, with hopes of 3,000MW being developed by 2020.
Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, one of the sponsors of the legislation, said: “Offshore wind is a key part of the future, and we need to make sure New Jersey is well-positioned to benefit from this emerging technology and the economic growth it will bring.”
New Jersey is one of 10 East Coast states that have pledged to assist the development of offshore wind in the Atlantic. Garden State Offshore Energy, one of the frontrunners to build the state’s first offshore wind project, said the Bill was an “important piece of legislation”, signaling the state’s commitment to the industry.
Rob Gibbs, vice president of the joint venture between offshore wind firm Deepwater Wind and the utility PSEG Global, said: “This legislation sets a clear path for offshore wind projects like the one proposed by Garden State Offshore Energy, but only if projects can demonstrate positive benefits to the state and its citizens.
“We believe a vibrant offshore wind industry can create thousands of good-paying, green jobs, boost the economy and help the state meet its renewable energy goals. This is an important step forward towards reaching these goals,” added Mr Gibbs.
Garden State is proposing a 350-megawatt wind farm some 16 miles off the South Jersey shore, using deepwater turbines.