New Jersey has reached another milestone positioning itself as a leader in clean energy technology with the signing of the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act. In his commitment to strengthen NJ’s economy by promoting and utilizing energy initiatives, Gov. Chris Christie signed the Bill on Thursday. The legislation is expected to spur economic growth through renewable energy resources development and boosting green employment for the community.
The Offshore Wind Economic Development Act will also provide available financial assistance and green tax credits from existing programs for businesses with qualified wind projects. The bill will ensure that the establishment of offshore wind projects will benefit NJ both economically and environmentally. It will direct the Board of Public Utilities to develop an offshore renewable green certificate program requiring a percentage of electricity sold to come from wind energy. The percentage would be enhanced to support 1,100 megawatts enough to power 250,000 to 330,000 homes. Likewise, the law will authorize the Economic Development Authority to provide up to $100 million in tax credits for qualified wind energy facilities and associated equipment manufacturers and assembling facilitates to promote economic progress in the state.188
Sen. Sweeney, the primary author of the bill, said that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill triggered the need to have a clean and sustainable energy in NJ. An offshore wind farm is estimated to cost $4,600 per kilowatt while onshore costs about half the price at $2,400 per KW however the benefit it will give is as wider unlike onshore facilities. Sen. Tom Kean, Jr. of Essex and co-author of the bill said that China is already investing heavily on offshore wind farms and that US should not fall behind to reap the vast benefits of offshore wind energy.
Gov. Christie said that the Bill will give NJ the opportunity to leverage its resources and innovative technologies allowing businesses to engage in the energy industry trend. He added that renewable energy resources and industry is vital to NJs manufacturing and technology future and that his administration is poised to champion NJ as a national leader in the windpower movement. NJ is among the 10 States to sign a memorandum of agreement in June instituting an Atlantic Offshore Wind Consortium to enhance and facilitate federal state cooperation for commercial wind development. It also established an energy policy in April to make traditional and renewable energy in the state more reliable and cheaper