The United States Department of Interior has announced today that it is moving forward with their plan build wind off the coast of New York. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Interior Department plan to lease 79,350 acres for offshore wind in a December 15 commercial wind lease sale. The New York Wind Energy Area starts approximately 11.5 nautical miles (nm) from Jones Beach, NY. From its western edge, the area extends approximately 24 nm southeast at its longest portion. The turbines may also be visible from Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Wind energy is clean, creates jobs, and will help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. While New York plans to have offshore wind, BOEM also gave leases off of New Jersey, but without financing rules the Christie Administration will block these projects from happening.

 

“BOEM and the Interior Department moving forward with the lease for offshore wind in New York is a great step in the right direction for renewable energy. Offshore wind is the most reliable and cost effective form of offshore power. It will create thousands of jobs and is great way to jumpstart the coastal economy, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and our impact on climate change,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “The East Coast, with its large metropolitan areas and dense suburbs is hungry for green jobs, economic investment and clean renewable energy. This offshore wind project will create jobs in installing, operating, and maintaining wind turbines as well as could promote new factories and manufacturing. Jobs would also be created building the substations and electric connections to serve the windmills. We need to increase renewable energy throughout the region to end our dependence on fossil fuels, mitigate climate change, and reduce pollution.”

 

This offshore wind project would help boost local economies, while creating green jobs. Jobs will be created by rebuilding Ports, building new factories, manufacturing the steel for the turbines, and assembling and transporting the windmills. At the same time, the Long Island region is in demand for more power sources. Currently, PSEG plans to bring electricity from a new underground transmission line in the Atlantic Ocean to power Long Island to make a higher profit after they took over Long Island Power. The Poseidon transmission line will do irreparable harm to the environment, could keep polluting power plants open in New Jersey and increase our dependence on fossil fuels. This project will increase demand of New Jersey’s power plants to serve the transmission line used to power PSEG’s Long Island customers.

 

“Offshore wind will help power Long Island who is in desperate need of new power sources. This project will help avoid a new natural gas power plant from being built that will cause more air pollution. It will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions from New Jersey and end the Poseidon transmission line that will cause a lot of environmental damage,” said Jeff Tittel. “Poseidon’s proposed Transmission line will ship electric power from New Jersey to Long Island, taking power from our power plants so they get the electricity and we get the pollution. If this project is built, we may even see electricity being shipped from the Seawaren 7 and Woodbridge CVP plant to Long Island. It will also increase demand to make our state’s dirty coal plants more cost effective. This is being proposed because PSEG can get 1/3 more money in Long Island than New Jersey because prices are higher there, but it will increase pollution in our lungs.”

 

In New Jersey, six years ago Governor Christie signed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA), but since then he has repeatedly blocked efforts to ensure we have wind turbines off our coast.  Delaying offshore wind projects costs our state jobs, renewable energy, and venture capital investments. The Christie Administration has failed to fully implement the OWEDA, to establish a funding mechanism for offshore wind, to jump start the manufacturing of wind turbines in our state, and to develop windmills off our coast.  As we continue to rebuild our coast in the wake of multiple storm events we need to invest in clean, renewable energy sources that do not contribute to climate change.

 

“While New Jersey was posed to be the first state in the nation for offshore wind, the Christie Administration blocked Fisherman’s Energy from moving forward five times. If we cannot even get this small project off the ground, how are we going to invest in bigger projects? While New Jersey has fallen behind with offshore wind, Rhode Island has already broken ground. There are billions of dollars in private investment waiting to come into New Jersey, as well as state tax credits just sitting there, because the Christie Administration has stopped offshore wind. Without issuing the financing, the Christie Administration is hurting our economy and preventing green jobs and clean energy from being a reality,” said Jeff Tittel. “Offshore wind would be a great way to jumpstart our coastal economy. However, with these delays we are losing jobs in the financial sector and venture capitalism for funding and investing in wind.”

 

New Jersey has clearly fallen behind, but we desperately need offshore wind to deal with sea level rise and climate change. We support New York moving forward with offshore wind because it will create green jobs and reduce pollution for the entire region.

 

“We want to see wind energy happen in New York because in New Jersey it may not happen until we get a new Governor. People visiting Sandy Hook will be able to see these turbines and it may be the only offshore wind we will see because of Christie’s failure to take action. For the past six years, the Christie Administration has been holding offshore wind hostage. We have the wind and companies like Fisherman’s Energy that are ready to build, but all along the Christie Administration has failed to release the financing rules. The Christie Administration is running out of excuses. Our Governor has held offshore wind hostage because of his national political ambitions. This is hurting our economy and preventing green jobs and clean energy from being a reality,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.