A New Wind Farm for New Jersey

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New Jersey’s Garden State Offshore Energy was awarded $19 million in state grants to create an offshore wind farm. Partnering with Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (P.S.E.G), Garden State Offshore Energy plans to create the wind farm off the coast of southern New Jersey. The wind farm plays a crucial role in Governor Jon S. Corzine’s Energy Master Plan, which states that by 2020, 20 percent of the state’s energy will originate from renewable sources.

Deepwater Wind and P.S.E.G will build the wind farm with a commitment to affordability and productivity. Under 100 feet of water, the wind farm will be built with the same technology used to build oil rigs. Half a mile long and a one-third of a mile wide, the wind farm will house 96 turbines that will produce around 346 megawatts of electricity. The wind farm will cost more than $1 billion but would pay for itself in seven years, according to Nelson Garcez, vice president of renewable generation at P.S.E.G. The wind farm will start producing electricity in 2013. 

Besides cost, residents and environmentalists are equally concerned about the visual ocean landscape and the devastation to ocean life. But Garcez says that “people don’t have to choose between clean energy and a clear view.” The wind farm will be 16 to 20 miles offshore and will lower the destruction to wildlife, he says. Wind strength is more consistent offshore than on land, he says. 

New Jersey is now seeking permits from state and federal agencies to build offshore. Once these are in place, manufacturers must commit to building the 96 turbines. The turbines would be assembled in New Jersey, creating numerous new jobs for residents. 

New Jersey is following in the footsteps of Delaware and Rhode Island, who have partnered with electricity companies to developed offshore wind farms. 

Other east coast states, such as New York could be next.  

More about wind energy

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• Times Square gets a solar- and wind-powered billboard.

• What’s the true cost of alternative energy? Find out.