While New Jersey currently might be known as the Garden State, it might well become the leader in offshore wind farms. Governor Chris Christie recently announced eleven companies’ interests in creating offshore wind farms in New Jersey.
Christie’s administration recently released a draft of the 2011 Energy Master Plan (EMP), that establishes a framework for greener and more affordable vision for the use, development and management of energy in New Jersey. This recent development in offshore leasing for wind farms is part of the EMP and began due to the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Call for Information and Nominations (CIN). BOEMRE proposed leasing around 418 square nautical miles between Barnegat Light and Avalon. It begins 7 nautical miles offshore and extends up to 23 into the ocean.
The eleven companies’ proposals range in size from 350 megawatts to 3,000. Due to the size of the federal leasing block, there is some overlap among the various proposals, meaning that the power generation will require less than the total projects in the CIN. These projects will be partially funded by the Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificate (OREC) program. OREC calls for 1,100 megawatts of power to be from offshore wind farms.
New Jersey has currently identified 500 companies that could be involved in the development of these offshore wind farms. Along with creating clean energy, these offshore wind farms will also create hundreds of new jobs.