Gov. Phil Murphy announced plans to develop the New Jersey Wind Port, a first-in-the-nation infrastructure investment that will provide a location for essential staging, assembly and manufacturing activities related to offshore wind projects on the East Coast.
The Wind Port has the potential to create up to 1,500 manufacturing, assembly and operations jobs, as well as hundreds of construction jobs in New Jersey. Manufacturing and marshaling projects supported by it will drive economic growth in Salem County, in South Jersey and throughout the state.
“Offshore wind is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to not only protect our environment but also greatly expand our state economy in a way that has immediate impacts and paves the way for long-term growth,” Murphy said. “The New Jersey Wind Port will create thousands of high-quality jobs, bring millions of investment dollars to our state and establish New Jersey as the national capital of offshore wind. This is a vital step forward in achieving our goal of reaching 7,500 MW of offshore wind power by 2035 and 100% clean energy by 2050.”
The state has committed to using union labor and to include more minority and women workers to construct the Wind Port.
“The New Jersey Wind Port will be an incredible project that benefits the entire state, but it will be particularly important for South Jersey,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “Creating thousands of jobs in a region that has been overlooked in the past is crucial to addressing our current economic challenges and laying the foundation for future economic growth.”
Construction is planned in two phases, beginning in 2021. Phase 1 will develop a 30-acre site to accommodate marshaling activities and a 25-acre component manufacturing site. Phase 2 adds another 150-plus acres to accommodate expanded marshaling activities and extensive manufacturing facilities for turbine components like blades and nacelles. The state currently estimates the Wind Port will cost between $300 and $400 million at full build. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) is leading development.
“Expanding New Jersey’s offshore wind industry is vital to Gov. Murphy’s vision for a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy. The New Jersey Wind Port will tap into one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, creating high-quality jobs for New Jersey residents and bringing millions of dollars into our communities with a particularly strong impact on communities in South Jersey,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of NJEDA. “This will be especially important as we work to get people back to work and jumpstart economic growth in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Studies by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), US Department of Energy and offshore wind project developers have highlighted the need for new port facilities designed specifically to meet the offshore wind industry’s unique needs.
For example, wind turbines must be partially assembled at a port and then shipped out to the ocean vertically, with components as tall as 500 feet. When fully constructed on the ocean, the turbines selected for New Jersey’s first offshore wind project will be more than 850 feet tall. Given the height of the turbines, offshore wind marshaling ports must be located outside of all vertical restrictions, such as bridges, and must have wharves that can accommodate up to 800 tons or more than two fully loaded Boeing 777s. Most existing port infrastructure along the East Coast is unable to accommodate this work.
When launched, the New Jersey Wind Port will provide a major economic boost to Salem County located in South Jersey, as well as the state economy. The offshore wind projects slated for development along the East Coast over the next decade are expected to require more than $100 billion of capital investment, creating an opportunity for significant economic growth. New Jersey’s location at the heart of the East Coast wind belt, commitment to supporting offshore wind, and a diverse and highly skilled workforce put the state in a strong position to capitalize on this opportunity.
“I am incredibly proud to work with Gov. Murphy, Sen. Sweeney and many other partners in the offshore wind industry to bring the New Jersey Wind Port to Salem,” said Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli. “Bringing thousands of high-quality jobs and millions of dollars in contract opportunities for small businesses to South Jersey is just what we need as we recover from the brutal economic impact of COVID-19 on our region of the state.”
The New Jersey Wind Port will be located in Lower Alloways Creek Township, on an artificial island on the eastern shores of the Delaware River, southwest of the Salem. The site was selected after a 22-month assessment process, including engagement with industry, government and environmental stakeholders. The site is more than five miles from the nearest New Jersey residential area, can be built to meet the offshore wind industry’s needs, and has ample space to grow operations over time.
The NJEDA is leading development on behalf of the state and is working closely with the landowner, PSEG (Public Service Enterprise Group). The site is next to PSEG’s Hope Creek Nuclear Generation Station, and the company has partnered with the NJEDA to complete preparatory work to accelerate the project’s construction.
According to current projections, the New Jersey Wind Port has the potential to create jobs for workers in a variety of industries, including construction, manufacturing, port operations and engineering. Most jobs at the port will not require four-year college degrees and workforce development efforts are being prepared to ensure these opportunities are accessible to Salem County residents.The recently announced WIND Institute will serve as a center for education, research, innovation, and workforce training related to the development of offshore wind in New Jersey and the region.
“As a major component of our Energy Master Plan, offshore wind will be a pillar of achieving the Governor’s goal of 100% clean energy. The New Jersey Wind Port will be a critical project and can ensure our communities are able to access the full economic and environmental benefits of this growing renewable energy industry,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “This port will serve as a hub for all offshore wind projects along the East Coast, and further cements New Jersey’s position as a leader in offshore wind development, creating jobs and supply chain, and lowering the future costs of offshore wind.
“In the months to come, DEP will conduct a thorough assessment of the project to ensure that it meets the highest standards for protection of our coastal and other important environmental resources,” said Catherine R. McCabe, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection commissioner. “In the face of climate risks like our state’s rapidly rising sea levels, projects like this demonstrate how New Jersey can both adapt to climate change and fight its impacts by building resilient infrastructure that also supports the very industries that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diminish further global warming.”
Liz Burdock, president and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, added: “By providing a location that can accommodate the industry’s manufacturing and marshaling needs, the New Jersey Wind Port will make New Jersey an international leader in offshore wind and a hub of the East Coast wind industry. This is a concrete step toward an offshore wind supply chain born in the USA.”
News item from The State of New Jersey