New Jersey investing $250M in project to build turbines for offshore wind farms

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New Jersey will lead the country in developing offshore wind capabilities, Gov. Phil Murphy said as he announced a $250 million investment in a manufacturing facility that makes components for the wind industry.

Germany’s EEW will break ground in January on a facility at the Paulsboro Marine Terminal in Gloucester County that will make the steel components for offshore wind turbines for the United States market. The project will bring 500 jobs to the area with production slated to begin in 2023.

Murphy has made offshore wind energy a priority of his administration and announced plans to develop the New Jersey Winds Port in Lower Alloways Creek in June. This was another step to making New Jersey the “leader in offshore wind in the United States,” the governor said.

The construction is part of the Ocean Wind project, led by Danish Company Orsted. By 2024, the project is expected to power 500,000 residences.

But some felt the Ocean Wind project was moving too slowly and in September, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assemblyman John Burzichelli were wanting to stop the development. Burzichelli admitted the progress was not easy but did not mention past negotiations.

“It was a tug of war against strong personalities,” Burzichelli said at an announcement in Paulsboro. “It took real focus on the part of what New Jersey was looking for and what it expected as art of its bargain to draw the attention of this world community to get here.”

State officials began eyeing offshore wind energy 20 years ago, Sweeney said.

“This is the third governor on this project,” Sweeney said. “And thank God you came along,” he said to Murphy.

The New Jersey Sierra club called the project “another big win for wind” in a social media post.

“This is the largest in the county and a major step forward for offshore wind and creating 500 green jobs,” the post said. “We are now another step closer to making wind a reality.”

Murphy and Sweeney said the project could be a catalyst to helping the state recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Offshore wind is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that allows us to protect our environment while significantly expanding and securing the state’s economy for the immediate and long term,” Murphy said.

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