Murphy doubles down on NJ future offshore wind plans
TRENTON – Gov. Phil Murphy upped New Jersey’s target for deriving power from offshore wind by nearly 50% Wednesday, in an announcement made as part of Climate Week.
In 2019, Murphy set a goal of 7,500 megawatts of power from offshore wind by 2035. Though a new executive order issued Wednesday, he established a new goal of 11,000 megawatts by 2040.
“This is an aggressive target, but it is an achievable one when we combine the offshore wind plans currently in place and moving forward with the opportunities of the recently auctioned … New York Bight and the technological advancements that are making turbines more and more efficient, almost literally by the day,” Murphy said.
Murphy announced the executive order at a Climate Alliance event at the Javits Center in New York.
“Reaching this goal will allow us to power millions of New Jersey homes and businesses with green and reliable energy derived from something we have all taken for granted for a long time – the breezes off the Jersey Shore,” Murphy said.
There are three wind projects in development off the coasts of New Jersey, though none are yet operating.
Also Wednesday, the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy released an offshore wind jobs analysis that projects a gain of almost 315,000 ‘job-years’ by 2031 and continued growth after that, as more projects come online. The council also issued a one-year plan of proposed programs and strategies.
“The policies laid out in the report will expand economic opportunities for historically excluded communities, fight climate change, and create thousands of good paying, including many union jobs in our state,” said Drew Tompkins, campaign director of the Jersey Renews coalition.
“These good local union jobs cannot be outsourced and will provide a fair wage that can sustain a middle-class lifestyle,” said Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.
In conjunction with the release of the reports, Murphy announced $10 million in spending on the development of a diverse, skilled workforce for the offshore wind industry. He said it’s part of $30 million in the state budget for such initiatives.
“We know climate change is not only real but it’s existential,” Murphy said. “And that’s why we’re in this fight for all we are worth.”