WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee that oversees U.S. tax policy, today joined Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in introducing bipartisan legislation that would provide critical financial incentives to encourage investment in offshore wind energy through an investment tax credit redeemable for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind facilities placed into service, amounting to approximately 600 wind turbines.
“Investing in clean, renewable energy sources like wind is both good for the economy and our environment,” said Sen. Menendez. “This is smart policy that grows jobs, keeps the U.S. at the forefront of the latest cutting edge technology, increases our global economic competitiveness, and makes our nation more secure by reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy. New Jersey, with its vast Atlantic shoreline, is well-positioned to benefit from this legislation and to lead the nation in the development of offshore wind technology.”
The Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act would give the nascent offshore wind industry the certainty needed to plan investments and maximize deployment of this clean power technology. In the past, Congress has only offered a temporary credit for investments in wind power. The last extension of this important lifeline will expire before December 31, 2019.
The legislation defines offshore facilities as any facility located in the inland navigable waters of the United States, including the Great Lakes, or in the coastal waters of the United States, including the territorial seas of the United States, the exclusive economic zone of the United States, and the outer Continental Shelf of the United States.
Sen. Menendez has long advocated for the federal government to lease land off the New Jersey coast for the development of wind power. He was a chief proponent of and helped secure U.S. Department of Energy funding for a windfarm project off Atlantic City that was later blocked by the State of New Jersey.
The University of Delaware Special Initiative on Offshore Wind estimates that the Atlantic coast holds 330 gigawatts of offshore wind power – enough to meet all electricity needs of the East Coast. The expansion of America’s offshore wind industry would provide not only an opportunity to protect the environment and grow the nation’s economy, but it would also create large scores of new jobs for people living in areas near the coast.
Joining Sens. Menendez, Carper and Collins as cosponsors are Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Angus King (I-Maine), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).