offshore wind farm

FILE PHOTO: A support vessel is seen next to a wind turbine at the Walney Extension offshore wind farm operated by Orsted off the coast of Blackpool, Britain September 5, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble

New Jersey Breaks Ground on Nation’s First Purpose-Built Offshore Wind Port

Mike Schuler
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September 13, 2021

New Jersey has broken ground on construction of the nation’s first purpose-build offshore wind port that will provide a location for essential staging, assembly, and manufacturing activities related to offshore wind projects on the East Coast.

The New Jersey Wind Port is expected to create up to 1,500 manufacturing, assembly, and operations jobs, as well as hundreds of union construction jobs in New Jersey and position the state as a hub for the U.S. offshore wind industry.

“Investing in offshore wind is vital to building a stronger, greener economy that creates high-paying jobs to support a robust recovery from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and paves the way for long-term, equitable growth,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “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.”

Offshore wind is a key component of New Jersey State’s Energy Master Plan to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2050. As part of that plan, New Jersey has committed to producing 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035.

Offshore wind projects slated for development along the East Coast are expected to require more than $150 billion of capital investment by 2035, and the American offshore wind industry is projected to create more than 83,000 jobs, mostly along the Northeast corridor.

Governor Murphy in June signed the Fiscal Year 2022 state budget, which included $200 million allocated for the development of the New Jersey Wind Port; this is in addition to $13 million from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and $44 million in partnership with New Jersey Department of Transportation for dredging. In July, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority announced AECOM-Tishman as the Construction Manager (CM) for the project.

The New Jersey Wind Port will be located on an artificial island on the eastern shores of the Delaware River, southwest of the City of Salem; a site selected in June 2020 after a 22-month assessment process, including engagement with industry, government, and environmental stakeholders. It is more than five miles from the nearest New Jersey residential area and provides ample space to grow operations over time.

Long term, the New Jersey Wind Port has the potential for over 150 acres of manufacturing parcels and hundreds of manufacturing jobs.

Several potential tenants have already expressed interest in the site, including Ørsted and Atlantic Shores through their winning bids in NJBPU’s recent offshore wind power solicitation. Both offshore wind developers indicated they intend to build their projects at the Wind Port.

The winning bids also included proposals to partner with turbine manufactures GE and Vestas to build nacelle assembly facilities at the port. The NJEDA will be launching an additional tenant selection process in the coming weeks to negotiate agreements with these potential tenants.

Earthwork will begin on-site in the coming weeks and major construction is due to start in December 2021 with the goal of opening the port in winter 2023/2024.

“Today’s groundbreaking event marks one of the best examples yet of Governor Murphy’s bold new approach to economic development. This is a historic investment to support one of the newest and fastest-growing industries in the world that will address the climate crisis head-on and create thousands of good jobs throughout New Jersey,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The New Jersey Wind Port will establish New Jersey as a global leader in the high-growth offshore wind industry while focusing from day one on ensuring local communities and historically disadvantaged groups benefit most. This is what stronger and fairer economic development looks like, and I am proud to work with Governor Murphy and the many other partners here today to make this project a reality.”

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