Sens. Menendez, Booker & Rep. Pallone Urge Christie to Act to Deliver Offshore Wind to NJ

Sens. Menendez, Booker & Rep. Pallone Urge Christie to Act to Deliver Offshore Wind to NJ

Follows Feds Announcement of Atlantic Offshore Wind Auction


WASHINGTON, DC – Following an announcement by the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that it will auction for lease 344,000 acres off the coast of Atlantic City for the development of offshore wind power, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-NJ) and Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today called on Governor Chris Christie to immediately implement a five-year-old law to ensure the viability of such development. Currently, any company purchasing a lease to capture offshore wind energy would lack the appropriate state approvals to bring that power ashore and to customers.

“The auction will occur on November 9, 2015, and has the promise of making New Jersey a national leader in the development of offshore wind,” the federal lawmakers stated in a letter to Gov. Christie. “Offshore wind has incredible potential to spur new manufacturing in New Jersey, create good-paying jobs, and provide our residents with a clean, affordable, and abundant source of power.”

In 2010, Governor Christie signed into law the bipartisan Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA), which required the State to create the Offshore Renewable Energy Credit System – a system to ensure that New Jersey is including offshore wind power as part of its electricity mix. Five years later, the law has not been implemented, setting up bureaucratic roadblocks that will put any offshore wind power development at risk.

The full letter follows:

September 30, 2015

Dear Governor Christie:

We write to bring your attention to an opportunity from the federal government to support clean energy and new jobs for New Jersey. On September 23, 2015, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) of the Department of the Interior announced plans to auction 343,833 acres off the coast of southern New Jersey for the development of offshore wind power. The auction will occur on November 9, 2015, and has the promise of making New Jersey a national leader in the development of offshore wind.

Offshore wind has incredible potential to spur new manufacturing in New Jersey, create good-paying jobs, and provide our residents with a clean, affordable, and abundant source of power. According to BOEM, if fully developed, the auction site could sustain at least 3,400 megawatts—enough to power 1.2 million homes. Offshore wind would also help New Jersey meet its renewable energy goals, including the 3,000 megawatt offshore wind level discussed in the State’s Energy Master Plan.

In 2010, you signed the bipartisan Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA) into law, and today additional action is needed to advance offshore wind development in New Jersey. In order to ensure a successful federal lease auction, the State must move ahead with the implementation of OWEDA, including the establishment of the Offshore Renewable Energy Credit (OREC) system created under the law. We encourage your Administration to move as quickly as possible to fully implement OWEDA, to ensure a clear and robust State policy to complement the efforts of the federal government.

We hope that the State of New Jersey will take the needed steps to partner with the federal government to bring offshore wind power to fruition. We look forward to working with you to position New Jersey at the forefront of the nation’s clean energy economy.

Sincerely,

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