The act dictates that a certain percentage of electricity produced in New Jersey be eventually generated through offshore wind farms. It calls on the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to develop an offshore renewable energy certificate (OREC) program to facilitate the production of at least 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind power.
The legislation specifies the struggling Paulsboro Marine Terminal, located on the Delaware River, as the state hub for wind turbine manufacturing, thus creating green jobs and an economic boon for New Jersey. The offshore turbines would be positioned between 12 and 20 miles of the coast.
Two offshore wind development companies, Fisherman's Energy and Deepwater Wind, already have plans to install wind power off New Jersey shores. The OWEDA bill should help to solidify those plans. As yet, however, no company has signed on to build a turbine plant in New Jersey.
But while there are no guarantees that New Jersey will win out over other East Coast states, said David Pringle of the New Jersey Environment Federation to NJ.com, "Those states that are most aggressive in promoting polices that promote alternative energy are the ones that will reap the benefits." New Jersey is now in the best position of any state to benefit," he added.