💨 Gov. Murphy says NJ can still be leader in offshore wind energy

👎 Most coastal residents don't want to see wind turbines built

❓ Local and state officials continue to question the feasibility and cost

Gov. Phil Murphy is stubbornly clinging to the idea of making New Jersey an offshore wind development hub, even in the face of public and political opposition.

Despite the stunning failure of wind farm projects led by Danish developer Orsted, Murphy announced on Wednesday a fourth round of wind solicitation to begin early next year.

New Jersey can – and will – continue to remain a burgeoning offshore wind development hub - Gov. Phil Murphy

When Orsted canceled Ocean Wind I and Ocean Wind II, it was an embarrassing setback to Murphy's aggressive clean energy goals.

attachment-I remain committed to ensuring that New Jersey becomes a global leader in offshore wind . (3)

"New Jersey can – and will – continue to remain a burgeoning offshore wind development hub that attracts new projects and their accompanying economic and environmental benefits for generations to come," Murphy said in a statement.

The Board of Public Utilities will begin taking bids in early 2024.

NJBPU President Christine Guhl-Sadovy said in a statement, "Offshore wind is vital to our clean energy economy and our efforts to mitigate climate change, and we are resolute in our efforts to ensure New Jersey realizes its benefits."

(AP/Seth Wenig/Michael Dwyer)
(AP/Seth Wenig/Michael Dwyer)

Opposition to wind farms is growing

In 2019, 77% of residents living in areas that border the ocean or a bay supported offshore wind turbines, according to polling from the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University.

Today, that support has fallen to 33%.

Concern over potential harm to marine life and being able to see the turbines from the beach are driving public sentiment down.

Democratic leaders in the New Jersey legislature have also expressed reservations about the cost to taxpayers.

AP/Townsquare Media illustration
AP/Townsquare Media illustration

A number of local towns are also opposed to the project due to the potential impact to tourism and the fact that local governments were never consulted during the approval process.

New wind project gets federal approval

The bidding for more wind projects off the New Jersey coastline comes on the heels of federal approval of a massive project that will span from Long Island, NY, to Long Branch, NJ.

The U.S. Department of the Interior approved the project for nearly 80,000 acres of ocean that could include as many as 147 wind turbines. Federal officials say the project could generate enough power for 700,000 homes.

attachment-I remain committed to ensuring that New Jersey becomes a global leader in offshore wind .

If built, it will be bigger than the failed Orsted projects.

Known as Empire Wind 1 and 2, the project is a joint venture by oil and gas company British Petroleum and Equinor Wind LLC, a Norwegian energy company.

In addition, The Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind project was granted approval in 2021, but has been plagued by budget problems similar to the ones that sank the Orsted project.

To date, not a single wind turbine has been built off the coast of New Jersey.

Windfarm projects proposed for NJ coast — and what they might look like

These are the wind energy projects approved for and planned for the ocean off the coasts of New Jersey and New York. While the projects have the support of officials who say they will stimulate the local economy and create renewable energy to power millions of homes, many coastal residents have raised concerns about how the projects will impact tourism and the environment.

The gallery includes competing photosimulations — those on file with the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and those recently commissioned by a group opposed to the wind farm development.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

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Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

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Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander

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