Offshore Wind Power Gets New Jersey Welcome

The Jersey Shore isn’t just a runaway reality TV show about a bunch of obnoxious, narcissistic Garden State kids. It’s also an area that could be considered prime offshore wind real estate. State officials seem to agree that the coastline could bring economic opportunity in the form of renewable energy since it now appears that New Jersey is the latest East Coast state to put policy in place that would support offshore wind developments.

A recent statement by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie indicates that a Board of Public Utilities application process has been opened up for prospective offshore wind developers with interest in tapping the New Jersey coastline for renewable energy purposes.

offshore wind power

image via Vattenfall

The announcement builds on the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act that Governor Christie signed last year which provides financial incentives and tax credits to businesses that construct manufacturing, assembly and water access facilities to support qualified offshore wind projects. It also created an Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificate (“OREC”) program along with rules that developers must follow to obtain BPU approval, and to receive the  ORECs.

According to the rules, developers are required to submit an application during an application cycle. Once an application is submitted, BPU staff will reportedly certify that the application complete. At that point, a 180 day application review period begins.

The initiatives are said to help support on-going federal plans to deploy 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind turbines along the East Coast.