New Jersey to Develop a 345-Megawatt Offshore Wind Power Project
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) announced on October 3 that it has selected Garden State Offshore Energy (GSOE)—a joint venture of PSEG Renewable Generation and Deepwater Wind—to develop a 345.6-megawatt wind project off the coast of New Jersey. The BPU awarded a $4 million grant to GSOE, of which $400,000 will be paid upfront to conduct studies and to prepare the permit applications for the $1 billion facility. It will consist of 96 wind turbines located 16-20 miles off the shore of Atlantic City and will barely be visible from the shore. According to the BPU, construction could begin in 2010 at the earliest, while PSEG hopes to start generating power in 2012, achieving full commercial operation in 2013. See the press releases from the New Jersey BPU (PDF 25 KB) and GSOE (PDF 200 KB) and the GSOE Web site. Download Adobe Reader.
A report prepared for the BPU in September by Global Insight examined the potential costs and benefits of a wind facility located off the shore of New Jersey and concluded that the facility would provide more than 1% of the state's electricity needs. A facility located far from shore, as the GSOE project will be, is expected to have minimal impacts on tourism, property values, and fisheries, with the greatest fisheries impacts occurring during construction. The study also found that an offshore wind facility could improve the state's image. Encouraged by the new project and the study, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine announced his plan to triple the state's goal for offshore wind power, aiming for 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2020. See the Global Insight study (PDF 1.1 MB) and the governor's press release.