Over the past few years, states up and down the East Coast have jockeyed for position as America’s offshore wind leader. Massachusetts and Rhode Island were early movers, Maryland and New York have made waves, and Connecticut and Virginia made a big push earlier this fall. Now New Jersey is making its move—Gov. Phil Murphy just announced the state is more doubling its offshore wind commitment to 7,500 megawatts by 2035.
Offshore wind is a win for our environment, a win for our economy, and a win for our future. Together, we will make New Jersey the nexus of the global offshore wind industry. #CleanEnergyNJ pic.twitter.com/84ZCvL411m
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) November 19, 2019
Gov. Murphy’s new target means offshore wind would supply half of New Jersey’s electricity, and the increased ambition leaves only New York with a larger commitment to offshore wind.
“It will be achievable, there’s no question about it,” said Joseph Fiordaliso, commissioner of New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities. “We’re going to have 3,500 megawatts by 2030 and probably have more by then. So the 2035 timetable is achievable, and one that we are working toward, and one that we will accomplish.”
New Jersey’s enhanced offshore wind commitment will also act as a job creator. Over 460 companies have already signed onto the New Jersey Offshore Wind Supply Chain Registry. That makes sense considering:
- Offshore wind represents a $70 billion supply chain opportunity, according to the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind.
- 74 different occupations are needed to build an offshore wind farm, according to the Workforce Development Institute.
- And offshore wind could create 36,000 new jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
That includes the obvious engineering, construction and operations and maintenance jobs, and some jobs that might be a little unexpected, like these wind farm “Uber drivers:”
“No other renewable energy resource provides us either the electric-generation or economic-growth potential of offshore wind,” said Gov. Murphy.
New Jersey’s announcement is further proof that American offshore wind power is ready to take off.