EOPA New Jersey applauds Gov. Murphey’s accelerated offshore wind solicitation for jobs, health and prosperity

EOPA New Jersey applauds Gov. Murphey’s accelerated offshore wind solicitation for jobs, health and prosperity

175 EOPA New Jersey elected officials are resolute that offshore wind mean good-paying jobs and energy independence from fossil fuels

On November 29, Governor Phil Murphy accelerated offshore wind for New Jersey when he directed the state’s Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) to launch the fourth offshore wind solicitation in early 2024. By doing so, he reaffirmed the State’s commitment to achieving a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2035. He also sent a strong signal to offshore wind developers that New Jersey is a welcoming state for them to do business in.

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind already knows New Jersey’s offshore wind potential, and is moving forward with their responsible development. Atlantic Shores was approved by the NJBPU in 2021 to build the State’s largest offshore wind farm with the capacity to generate more than 1,510 megawatts of energy — enough to power 700,000 homes. Working to ensure the build-out is done responsibly, they helped fund regional research and monitoring to assess the impacts of offshore wind on New Jersey’s natural resources.

“We applaud Governor Murphy’s action to accelerate the fourth offshore wind solicitation. Offshore wind promises energy independence, local, good-paying family-sustaining jobs, continued investments in workforce development, and improved public health, particularly for those disproportionately impacted by fossil fuel pollution,” said Alex Cornell du Houx, former Maine state Representative, Marine combat veteran, President of Elected Officials to Protect America, and Co-Founder. ”Elected Officials to Protect America – New Jersey stands with the Governor’s offshore wind goal of 11 gigawatts by 2035 and become independent from the climate destroying fossil fuel industry.”

More than 175 elected officials from across the state support responsible offshore wind development in New Jersey and have signed an Elected Officials to Protect America — New Jersey letter in favor of New Jersey Offshore Wind.

“The fossil fuel industry raked in $200 billion last year when people struggled to heat homes and put gas in their vehicles. They knowingly have created the climate crisis. Atlantic City floods regularly now,” said Caren Fitzpatrick, Atlantic County Commissioner, New Jersey, EOPA New Jersey Leadership Council. “We have to stop using fossil fuels and they way to do that is to responsible build-out offshore wind. At the same time, we’re going to create thousands of union jobs. It’s a win-win for our economy, our pocketbooks and our health. EOPA New Jersey stands resolutely behind offshore wind development and we commend Governor Murphey for his leadership.”

How offshore wind can grow the economy could mean communities too often overburdened and overlooked will finally receive recognition with the promise of good paying jobs.

“Residents living in some Atlantic City communities and in the surrounding area have been held back because of systemic racism are in desperate need of good paying jobs. People here are ready and capable of becoming wind farm technicians,” said Kaleem Shabazz, Atlantic City Councilmember, President of NAACP Atlantic City, EOPA New Jersey Leadership Council Member. “The promise offshore wind training and the subsequent jobs means communities hit the worst from the climate crisis and lack of job opportunities will finally be given a chance to succeed, and experience better health outcomes. I look forward to a company stepping in to complete offshore wind farm development for Atlantic City. Governor Murphey’s accelerated solicitation should ensure that happens.”

With more electric vehicles on New Jersey roads, as people take advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act’s tax incentives, the more the state will need power from offshore wind.

“In Burlington residents suffer from polluting fossil fuel powered trucks. It continues to endanger too many people’s health. When all light-duty cars on the road are electric vehicles, we’ll need about 30 percent more electric energy feeding our grid. With EV trucks, that need for clean power will go up. Offshore wind is key to our clean energy future to power our EVs and homes. It is key to lift up our environmental justice communities with training and union jobs, while improving health outcomes,” said Balvir Singh, Burlington County Commissioner, Elected Officials to Protect America New Jersey Leadership Council member. “Offshore wind power, and other renewable energy sources, will drive the transition of the electrification of transportation as the internal combustion engines did in the early twentieth century for the oil industry. The magnitude this represents for our health and economy is huge. Thank you, Governor Murphy for standing up for our future with offshore wind.”

New Jersey’s fourth solicitation project awards are expected in early 2025.

On November 21 the Biden-Harris administration announced its approval of the Empire Wind offshore wind project. Empire Wind US LLC proposes to develop two offshore wind facilities, known as Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2. The lease area is located about 12 nautical miles (nm) south of Long Island, N.Y., and about 16.9 nm east of Long Branch, N.J. Together these projects would have up to 147 wind turbines with a total capacity of 2,076 megawatts of clean, renewable energy that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) estimates could power more than 700,000 homes each year. The projects would support over 830 jobs each year during the construction phase and about 300 jobs annually during the operations phase.

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