Michele Siekerka, the DEP’s assistant commissioner for Economic Growth and Green Energy, spoke to a few dozen residents and stakeholders about offshore wind turbines and other green-energy initiatives.
Siekerka said an offshore wind farm program would create thousands of jobs for the state. “Building the jobs around the green-energy industry is so important. Our goal is to create the jobs to support that green-energy industry,” she said.
Siekerka said the DEP is looking to partner in sustainability with municipalities, and not act as a hindrance. One obstacle is funding, Siekerka said. The state is trying to move from grant programs to renewable-energy credit, a plan announced last month by Gov. Chris Christie.
This region is heavily involved in the state’s offshore wind energy initiatives, with a Cape May group, Fisherman’s Energy, looking to build six wind turbines off Atlantic City’s coast. The meeting served as a preview for today’s Barnegat Bay Day and Go Green Expo, a free, family-oriented event involving hands-on activities and discussions about energy conservation.