New Jersey is more than doubling its goal for offshore wind-generated electricity to 7,500 megawatts by 2030, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday.
Murphy, standing alongside former Vice President Al Gore, signed an executive order to increase the already ambitious current goal of 3,500 megawatts.
Murphy’s administration seeks to have all of the state’s electric power come from renewable energy by 2050, which will provide “thousands of jobs.” He said the state will work with the commercial and recreational fishing industries to ensure that the construction and turbines won’t interfere or disrupt prime fishing waters.
“There is no other renewable energy resource that provides us with either the electric-generation or economic-growth potential of offshore wind,” Murphy said.
The 7,500 megawatts would be able to power the electrical needs of 3.2 million homes, he said in a statement.
“Today’s announcement couldn’t be more timely and more needed, as climate-related extreme weather events continue to wreak havoc on our communities,” Gore said.
In 2018, Murphy ordered the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to move the state toward achieving 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030.
This year, the BPU awarded a contract to Orsted, a Danish power company, to develop 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind about 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City. It also proposed more wind development over the next few years. The wind power will be brought to the former Oyster Creek nuclear station to be distributed.
State agencies are still setting up the offshore wind program, how it is paid for, and how revenue will eventually go back to ratepayers. The state is also setting up how infrastructure will deliver the wind-generated power to the electrical grid for residential and commercial use.
“Today is a great day for wind and a huge step in the right direction,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.