Wind power in New Jersey

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Wind power in New Jersey is in the early stages of development. There are various projects underway to create windfarms along coastal areas in the state on land, on piers, and on the continental shelf of the Atlantic Ocean off the southern Jersey Shore. Legislation has been enacted to support the industry through economic incentives and to permit wind turbines on existing piers. Several proposals have been made to expand the use of wind-generated power which may lead to the nation's first offshore wind power pilot project. In October 2010, North American Offshore Wind Conference was held in Atlantic City, site of the US's first on-shore coastal facility. New Jersey is part of the Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium. As of 2013, 9MW were produced by wind power.[1]

United States installed wind power capacity by state 1999–2014

In May 2014, the federal Department of Energy awarded a grant for up to $47 million for the pilot of the Atlantic City Windfarm, calling the project "innovative". New Jersey regulators had earlier rejected the same project in March.[2] In July 2014, the federal Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Management proposed sale of leases for nearly 344,000 acres (139,000 ha) covering an area about 7 miles off the coast of Atlantic City.

Despite incentives to spur the industry in the state, development has lagged.[3] In 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order to revive subsidies for wind power in the state.[4] In September 2018, the state began to solicit bids for projects off-shore.[5][6] In June 2019, the state awarded a contract for windfarm 15 miles off Atlantic City.[7] to Ørsted Ocean Wind.

Existing facilities[edit]

Jersey-Atlantic is the first coastal wind farm in the USA

Jersey Atlantic Wind Farm[edit]

Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm, opened in 2005 in Atlantic City, is the first coastal wind farm in the United States. In October 2010, North American Offshore Wind Conference was held in the city and included tours of the facility and potential sites for further development.[8] In February 2011, the state passed legislation permitting the construction of wind turbines along pre-existing piers, such as the Steel Pier.[9][10]

Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority[edit]

The Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority operates a singular wind turbine.[11][12][13][14][15][16] Construction of a single turbine tower was completed in January 2012.[17] It is the first wind turbine manufactured by Leitwind to be installed in the USA[18] and the first in the Tri-State (NY-NJ-CT) metropolitan area.[19] The turbine came on line in June 2012, and is used to power a sewage pumping station. [20]

Government interest and incentives[edit]

State grants for meteorological stations[edit]

In 2009, the New Jersey's Board of Public Utilities awarded grants of up to $4 million to Garden State Offshore Energy, Fisherman's Energy and Bluewater Wind to undertake research of offshore meteorological conditions.[21] The grant to Garden State Offshore Energy is being used to install an offshore meteorological buoy to measure wind speeds and weather and wave conditions off the coast. Garden State Offshore Energy is a joint venture between Deepwater Wind and PSEG Renewable Generation.[22]

Offshore Wind Economic Development Act[edit]

On August 19, 2010, Governor Christie signed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act, which provides for financial incentives and tax credits to support offshore wind projects.[23][24][25]

As of February 2013, the Board of Public Utilities, which is charged with implementing key aspects of the legislation, had not yet finalized all of the regulations necessary to carry out the policy.[26]

BOEM Nominations of Interest[edit]

On April 20, 2011, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued "The New Jersey Call for Information and Nominations – Commercial Leasing for Wind Power on the Outer Continental Shelf Offshore New Jersey". The BOEM is responsible for leasing areas of the Outer Continental Shelf which are under federal jurisdiction for energy resource utilization.[27] This Call for information and nominations requested public input regarding the development of offshore wind projects in a designated Wind Energy Area (WEA) located offshore New Jersey. The Call also sought nominations from project developers of areas within the WEA that should be put up for auction for project development. The BOEM received eleven such nominations, and the entire WEA was proposed for development by one or more developers.[28]

Offshore leases in federal waters[edit]

In July 2014, the federal Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Management proposed sale of leases for nearly 344,000 acres (139,000 ha) covering an area about 7.000 nautical miles (12,964 m) off the coast of Atlantic City.[29] The area would be divided into two leases, known as the North Area and the South Area.[30] Sales of leases began in November 2015;[31] the leases were allotted to RES America Developments and US Wind.[32] Ørsted also has a lease.


The Atlantic Wind Connection will be built off the Jersey Shore.

New Jersey has the potential to generate 373 GWh/year from 132 MW of 80 m high wind turbines or 997 GWh/year from 349 MW of 100 m high wind turbines located onshore as well as 430,000 GWh/year from 102,000 MW of offshore wind turbines.[33] New Jersey used 76,759 GWh in 2011.[34]

While less susceptible than areas in southern states, hurricanes could be a threat to wind turbines in the state.[35][36]

Proposed projects[edit]

Federal map of leasing areas off coast of Atlantic City

Fisherman's Energy Atlantic City Windfarm[edit]

In May 2011, Cape May-based Fisherman's Energy submitted an application to the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) under the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act for a demonstration project to build six wind turbines 2.5 miles (4.0 km) off the coast at Atlantic City called Fisherman's Atlantic City Windfarm.[37] The wind farm was projected to come on line late 2012, but in August of that year the (BPU) announced they would delay until the end of the year acting on the application. A decision is expected on April 30, 2013.[38][39][40][41][42] A controversial report released in 2012 questions the economic benefits for the state.[43] In March 2014, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities rejected a proposal to build the off-shore wind farm, citing financial irregularities and viability.[44][45] In May 2014, the federal Department of Energy awarded a grant for up to $47 million calling the project "innovative".[2][46] The revised plan is to install five, 5-megawatt turbines three miles off Atlantic City. The project will test a twisted jacket foundation, which is a new type of offshore platform that is cheaper to make and install than traditional platforms.[47] In August 2014, the Superior Court of New Jersey's Appellate Division order the BPU to reconsider its decision in light of the grant and the financial plan presented by Frisherman's.[48] Ground breaking for the onshore portion of the project took place in December 2014.[49][50] It is one of the few offshore wind farms in the United States to proceed to that stage. After years of wrangling with the BPU, Fisherman's Energy reconfigured its plans in attempt to proceed with the project.[51] The Department of Energy rescinded its grant to the Windfarm in 2017, citing the lack of progress finding a purchaser for the power.[52] Fischer's Energy laid off all of its staff and suspended its operations.

Atlantic Wind Connection[edit]

Atlantic Wind Connection is a planned electrical transmission backbone to be built off the Atlantic Coast of the United States to serve off-shore wind farms. Google and Good Energies, an investment firm, are the major investors in the $5 billion project proposed by Trans-Elect Development Company which would deliver power ashore at two points, one in South Jersey and one in northeastern New Jersey as well as Delaware and southern Virginia.[53] The proposed system has been praised by environmentalists and federal regulators, but as a first of its kind project, poses significant risks of encountering unexpected problems.[54] On January 17, 2013 Atlantic Wind Connection announced it had selected Bechtel as the EPC contractor and Alstom as technical advisor for the first phase of the development.[55]

Port Jersey[edit]

In 2010 the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced its intention to build five wind turbines at Port Jersey on the Upper New York Bay within three years.[56][57] The windfarm is part of a larger plan to expand the container port on the manmade peninsula to accommodate post-panamax ships.[58][59] In May 2012, Global Container Terminals announced detailed plan of the port extension. It included the installation of 9 wind turbines in order to meet a zero emissions footprint of their crane operation during periods of wind power generation.[60]

Raritan Bayshore[edit]

A single turbine as part of the Raritan Bayshore Regional Sewarage Authority facility in Union Beach has been mired in litigation and faces other zoning regulatory hurdles and community opposition.,[61] but was permitted by the New Jersey Supreme Court.[62]

Port of Paulsboro[edit]

The Port of Paulsboro is located on the Delaware River and Mantua Creek in and around Paulsboro approximately 78 miles (126 km) from the Atlantic Ocean. Traditionally one of the nation's busiest for marine transfer operations of petroleum products, the port is being redeveloped as an adaptable omniport able to handle a diversity of bulk, break bulk cargo and shipping containers. Studies completed in 2012[63][64] concluded that the port is well suited to become a center for the manufacture, assembly, and transport of wind turbines and platforms the development of Atlantic Wind Connection[65][66][67][68][69][70]

Ørsted Ocean Wind[edit]

In 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order to revive subsidies for wind power in the state.[71] In 2018 the BPU received three proposals from private companies to develop wind farms off the coast.[72] In September 2018, the state began to solicit bids for projects off-shore.[73][74] In June 2019, the state awarded a contract for windfarm 15 miles off Atlantic City[75] to Ørsted Ocean Wind.[76] It is expected to come on line in 2024.[77]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]