N.J. forms panel to advise state government on offshore wind generation program

(Heribert Proepper/AP Photo)

(Heribert Proepper/AP Photo)

A newly established panel will provide guidance to New Jersey officials as they undertake a goal to power more than three million homes by offshore wind energy generation in 2035, state officials announced.

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe established the New Jersey Environmental Resources Offshore Wind Working Group which will include representatives from commercial and recreational fishing industries, conservation organizations, maritime industry, and fisheries councils.

“The Working Group will ensure that interested parties have a seat at the table with government officials to help shape the Murphy administration’s offshore wind strategy and implementation,” McCabe said in a prepared state.

State officials say they recognize the importance of community engagement in fulfilling the administration’s clean energy, economic development, and natural resource preservation goals.

“By working together with the fishing industry and conservation community in reaching this goal, we can effectively combat the harmful effects of sea-level rise and climate change while preserving critical aspects of our economy and natural resources,” McCabe said.

In June, state regulators approved the first application for a wind farm off the Jersey Shore, which is expected to start generating power in five years.

Murphy said increasing offshore wind capacity would also create opportunities to shift the state’s transportation sector — which produces nearly half of New Jersey’s greenhouse gas emissions — toward electrification.

According to officials, the offshore wind industry will create thousands of jobs across the state.

Joe Hernandez contributed to this report. 

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