Coastal Wind Power Coming To NJ? - My9 New Jersey

Coastal Wind Power Coming To NJ?

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Trenton, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

New Jersey is gearing up to bring wind power to the state in order to create energy.

In 2010 Governor Christie signed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act in order to spur economic development in our energy sector.

Former Iowa Governor Chet Culver discussed the process it takes to put this kind of power in place in the Garden State.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of if it happens, the question is when is it going to happen? You have an incredible resource off the Atlantic coast here. The two things you have to do to tap the potential off your coast is one, you have to build the transmission to connect the grid, and two, you actually can build wind farms on that grid in the Atlantic,” he said.

It is estimated that two-thirds of the cost of building these turbines is on the taxpayers through things like direct subsidies and tax breaks, is this just another thing that will end up wasting taxpayer dollars?

Culver said that when you look at the current cost of energy in New Jersey wind may actually seem like the cheaper option in the long run.

“Taxpayers now are paying exorbitant prices for energy. In fact, in New Jersey you have some of the highest energy costs in the nation. We (Iowa) have some of the lowest rates in the country. We are paying about eight cents a kilowatt hour, in New Jersey you pay seventeen,” Culver said.

Wind energy remains a controversial subject in New Jersey because government estimates show that the cost of maintenance is second highest behind solar energy and depending on location gas or coal energy may need to be in place as a backup.

“It depends where you’re building your farm. If you don’t have good wind resources the cost will be higher. Right here off the coast of New Jersey you have 3,000 megawatts ready to be tapped. I can guarantee you there’s going to be a net positive economic impact even if you just build the New Jersey energy link without putting any wind farms on it, you’re going to solve a lot of your issues,” Culver said.

In addition, some people say that incorporating wind energy in New Jersey will help bring more jobs to the Garden State. “Today our unemployment is Iowa is 2% below the national average. We have as many as 8,000 jobs today, right now, related to wind energy. We have five manufacturing plants where they’re working in some cases 24/7 to make component parts,” Culver said.

Another issue that arises with wind energy is its effect on the environment. Recent studies show that over 500,000 birds were killed last year alone from wind turbines.

Are these factors enough to prevent wind energy from coming to New Jersey?


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