New Jersey Enacts Law to Boost Offshore Wind Industry

September 8, 2010

Photo of large wind turbines in the ocean.

Offshore wind turbines like these could appear off the New Jersey coast under a new state program.
Credit: Siemens

In a bid to boost offshore wind energy, New Jersey enacted a law on August 19 that provides a financial incentive for companies to construct turbines in the Atlantic Ocean off the state's coast. The "Offshore Wind Economic Development Act" will offer offshore wind renewable energy certificates to approved projects for the generation of 1,110 megawatts of power. The new law also seeks to attract firms that build wind turbines, their components, or water access facilities by granting up to $100 million in tax credits as well as financial assistance to qualified applicants. The Garden State used a similar approach to encourage photovoltaic installations and is now producing 57.3 megawatts DC, putting it second behind only the much-sunnier California on the list of states.

Under provisions of the new law, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities will determine a process for utilities to buy offshore renewable energy certificates from commercial offshore wind farms. State statutes require New Jersey get 22.5% of its electricity from renewables by 2021. See the press release from Governor Chris Christie and the full text of the bill (PDF 183 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

In June, New Jersey and nine other East Coast states signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Department of Interior to create the Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium. The goal of the consortium is to promote the development of wind resources on the Outer Continental Shelf along the East Coast, by coordinating state and federal efforts relating to permitting activities, environmental studies, technical and financial barriers, and the infrastructure needed to deploy and maintain offshore wind power plants. See the June 16 edition of EERE Network News.