New Jersey Raises Offshore Wind Ambitions

By: - September 23, 2022 12:00 am

Wind turbines from the Deepwater Wind project stand in the sea off Block Island, R.I. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, announced an executive order calling for 11 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2040, the most aggressive target of any Atlantic state. Michael Dwyer/The Associated Press

New Jersey is aiming to harness more wind energy from offshore turbines than any other Atlantic coast state, part of an aggressive push that includes millions in state funding for a port to bolster the growing industry.

Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, announced that New Jersey will target 11 gigawatts of offshore wind development by 2040, building from the state’s previous goal of 7.5 gigawatts by 2035. Murphy’s executive order puts the Garden State’s offshore wind ambitions ahead of New York’s 9-gigawatt plan.

“This is an aggressive target, but it is an achievable one,” Murphy said, according to “Reaching this goal will allow us to power millions of New Jersey homes and businesses.”

The state broke ground last year on the New Jersey Wind Port, a facility funded with million in state support to handle transportation, assembly and deployment of offshore wind infrastructure.

“Offshore wind is a vital component of our clean energy mix as we strive to meet 100 percent clean energy by 2050,” Joe Fiordaliso, president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, said in a statement. “Creating a workforce to meet the needs of this burgeoning industry is critical to the success of creating a clean energy future and combatting climate change.” 

While offshore wind generates negligible electricity in the United States today, many projects have begun development or permitting, and President Joe Biden has set a national goal of 30 gigawatts of capacity by 2030. That’s enough to power more than 10 million homes.

So far, New Jersey has approved three offshore wind projects totaling 3.7 gigawatts, although all of them are still awaiting federal permits. Offshore wind could provide nearly a quarter of the state’s power by 2050, E&E News reported, but such significant expansion will require upgrades to transmission infrastructure and contend with pushback from some coastal communities and fishing groups.

Only California, which has a massive Pacific Ocean coastline, has a larger offshore wind goal than New Jersey, with a target of 25 gigawatts by 2045. That plan relies on the development of floating offshore wind technology, which will be necessary to deploy platforms in the deep waters off the California coast.

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Alex Brown
Alex Brown

Based in Seattle, Alex Brown covers environmental issues for Stateline. Prior to joining Stateline, Brown wrote for The Chronicle in Lewis County, Washington state.