New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed bold legislation that will move the state’s electricity mix to 50 percent renewable by 2030 and codifies the largest commitment to offshore wind power from any state. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) hailed the Garden State for their ambition:
“Today Governor Murphy sent an unambiguous signal that New Jersey is ready for clean energy investment that will lead to good jobs and a more prosperous economy,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “We thank the Governor and legislative champions like Senators Bob Smith, Stephen Sweeney, Paul Sarlo, and Jeff Van Drew, as well as Assembly Persons Wayne DeAngelo, John Burzichelli, John McKeon, and Nancy Pinkin, for their vision and swift action enacting this legislation.”
With Governor Murphy’s signature on S2314/A3723, New Jersey has become an energy policy leader joining a group of states with 50 percent or greater renewable energy standards, including California, New York, Oregon, Hawaii, Vermont and the District of Columbia. Momentum is growing with several other 50 percent RPS (renewable portfolio standard) policies under consideration in Maryland, Delaware and states in New England. These policy targets are achievable and attract economic growth to states that pass them because renewable energy, including wind power, has become mainstream and increasingly competitive with advancements in technology and falling costs.
Offshore wind’s ability to reliably generate large amounts of clean energy near major cities means it is poised to scale up in coastal states like New Jersey. And commitments to offshore wind energy in S2314/A3723 establish New Jersey as a national leader for this new American ocean energy resource. The measure, which builds on the 2010 Offshore Wind Economic Development Act, commits the state to develop 3,500 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind, enough to power over one million average homes. This is the largest commitment that any state has made to develop offshore wind resources to date.
Scaling up offshore wind will require tens of thousands of U.S. workers and new factories. States up and down the East Coast are working to ensure they will be well-positioned to compete for these economic development opportunities. Governor Murphy’s commitment to develop 3,500 MW of offshore wind sends a clear message that New Jersey wants to lead and global businesses in offshore wind development have taken note.