Companies hoping to build wind farms in New Jersey waters have until June 14 to file an application with the Board of Public Utilities.
In a press release announcing the opening of the application process, Gov. Chris Christie said wind energy provides a unique opportunity to advance energy as an industry.
“By doing so,” Christie said, “we have the ability to leverage our tremendous resources with ground-breaking technologies, allowing New Jersey to increase its use of renewable energy sources while advancing an industry that will lead to long-term job creation.”
The one-month application period began Monday.
In August, Christie signed the state’s Offshore Wind Economic Development Act, which established financial incentives and tax credits for companies that build manufacturing, assembly, or water-access facilities in New Jersey, or provide support services to qualified offshore wind projects.
The law also established a renewable energy certificate incentive program for offshore wind-power developers, and created a new requirement to generate at least 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind generation capacity here.
At least two companies already have announced plans to put wind farms off the Jersey coast.
Fishermen’s Energy last month obtained permits from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to put a six-turbine wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City.
And Garden State Offshore Energy, a joint venture between Public Service Enterprise Group and Deepwater Wind, was selected by the Board of Public Utilities in 2008 to build a 350-megawatt offshore wind farm. In October, the venture said it would launch a wind monitoring device in the Atlantic Ocean to gather data on the farm’s proposed site. But as that wind farm would be located 20 miles off the state’s coastline, the project would be built in federal, not state, waters, and would be covered by a different application process that’s set to begin later this year.
As part of the new application process, Christie’s office said companies looking to build offshore wind farms must provide to BPU information showing the projected economic and environmental impacts of their projects. Applicants must also submit an analysis of the effect their project would have on the state’s electricity ratepayers.