Assembly Panel Approves Bill To Promote Offshore Wind Power

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TRENTON — Legislation to promote development of offshore wind power and the economic growth it would spark for New Jersey was released Friday by an Assembly panel.

The landmark legislation (A-2873) know as the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act establish an offshore wind renewable energy certificate program and authorize the Economic Development Authority to provide up to $100 million in tax credits for wind energy facilities.

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New Jersey was recently among 10 states to sign an agreement establishing an Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium to help facilitate federal-state cooperation for commercial wind development on the Outer Continental Shelf off of the Atlantic coast.

The bill would direct the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to develop an offshore wind renewable energy certificate program to require that a percentage of electricity sold in the state be from offshore wind energy.

This percentage would be developed to support at least 1,100 megawatts of generation from qualified offshore wind projects.

The bill authorizes the BPU to accept applications for qualified offshore wind projects and sets forth the criteria to be used by the BPU in reviewing the applications. As defined by the bill, qualified offshore wind project means a wind turbine electricity generation facility located in the Atlantic Ocean and connected to the electric transmission system in this state.

The bill designates elements that the BPU must consider in its review, including a recognition of the total subsidy to be paid by ratepayers over the life of the proposed project and whether a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed project demonstrates a net positive benefit to the state.

Lastly, it authorizes the EDA to provide up to $100 million in tax credits for the development of qualified wind energy facilities in wind energy zones.

The bill was unanimously released by the Assembly Budget Committee.


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