FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2018 – Atlantic City, NJ—Just one year after the offshore wind industry announced it was “back in business” in New Jersey, and eight years after the state passed its historic OWEDA offshore wind energy bill, top international offshore wind developers, state officials, labor leaders, and environmentalists gathered to celebrate the tremendous progress the industry has made in the last 12 months, and to look forward to the next milestones toward getting “steel in the water” in the Atlantic Ocean off of New Jersey.
NJ Board of Public Utilities President Joseph Fiordaliso spoke on the BPU’s progress on projects like the Energy Master Plan and the Offshore Wind Strategic Plan, and State Senate President Steve Sweeney capped the day with his review of offshore wind legislation passed and signed by Governor Phil Murphy, and his vision for what lies ahead for the Senate and Assembly in the next six to twelve months.
One highlight of the day was the panel of four offshore wind developers including Ørsted, a Danish company considered the world’s leading developer of offshore wind farms, and Deepwater Wind, famous for producing the first US wind farm off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island. Equinor, a Norwegian company formerly known as Statoil, and the French firm EDF RE, which recently purchased the Fishermen’s Energy project and renamed it Nautilus, rounded out the lively panel, moderated by Liz Burdock of Oceantic Network.
Doug O’Malley, Director, Environment New Jersey, moderated a wide-ranging panel that included a director from the Rutgers Energy Institute, two labor leaders from United Steelworkers and Blue Green Alliance, and Curtis Fisher, Northeast Regional Executive Director for the National Wildlife Federation.
That group was followed by a State Leadership panel of executives from the Governor’s Office, NJ BPU and the NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA), who stressed the state’s commitment to advancing the offshore industry in New Jersey and developing the supply chain. Former NJ BPU President Jeanne Fox was the moderator for this session.
The event was co-sponsored by Jersey Renews and Oceantic Network, with major organizational support from Environment New Jersey, Work Environment Council and the Energy Foundation.
“The growth of offshore wind in New Jersey is a critical part of establishing a clean energy future for our state and top priority for my administration,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Advancing offshore wind is not only crucial to our commitment to combating climate change, but to building a strong clean energy economy.”
State Senate President Steve Sweeney said, “We must continue to take the actions needed to support and promote offshore wind energy in New Jersey. We have the resources and the ability to be at the forefront of offshore wind production and in other sectors of renewable energy technologies. We need to seize the leadership in a growing industry with the potential to create good jobs and bring long-term economic growth. This is both an environmental and an economic priority.”
NJ BPU President Joseph Fiordaliso said, “From day one, Governor Murphy has recognized the importance of harnessing offshore wind in the Atlantic to provide abundant, clean energy well into the future. In doing so, we combat the effects of climate change and ensure a healthier environment for our children and grandchildren.”
“And the Board has moved expeditiously, yet prudently, in the first eight months of this Administration to finally take the most important steps to bring offshore wind to New Jersey, and along with it, a new energy economy and good jobs,” President Fiordaliso added.
Brian Sabina, EDA Senior Vice President, Economic Transformation, said, “The EDA fully supports the Murphy administration’s view that offshore wind development is an extraordinary opportunity to create thousands of new, well-paying jobs in New Jersey, while simultaneously pursuing our goal of 100 percent clean, sustainable energy by 2050. With our location at the center of the East Coast wind belt, access to major ports, skilled workforce, and fully committed stakeholders, New Jersey is strategically positioned to take on a leadership role in the region’s adoption of offshore wind.”