Eleven companies have submitted proposals to build green-power wind turbines on 554 square miles off New Jersey's shore.
The companies submitted proposals to erect giant windmills on federal tracts stretching from Avalon to Barnegat Light. The tracts lie between eight miles and 26.5 miles offshore.
"This robust response from offshore wind developers makes it clear that commercial interest in development of wind turbines is strong," Bob Martin, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, said in a statement.
The New Jersey coast is one of four Eastern areas the U.S. Department of Interior chose for priority development. Leases could be offered by the end of the year after the department evaluates the proposals.
The proposals range from 350 to 3,000 megawatts in generation capacity and total 12,500 megawatts. But several overlap the same areas, so the total output will be much less.
DEP officials said the applicants are Offshore MW L.L.C.; Neptune Wind L.L.C.; Garden State Offshore Wind Energy I L.L.C.; Bluewater Wind New Jersey Energy L.L.C.; TCI Renewables Inc.; Mainstream Renewable Power; enXco Development Corp.; US Wind Inc.; New Jersey Offshore Wind L.L.C.; Iberdrola Renewables Inc.; and Fishermen's Energy of New Jersey L.L.C.
Although New Jersey's terrain is not considered economically viable for wind power, the unobstructed off-shore holds promise.