New $ 350 million NJ port touted as the next step for the state to lead in wind power production
Governor Phil Murphy leaned forward as he shook hands with Senate President Steve Sweeney Thursday morning and said, “Big win for the home team.”
Sweeney returned the grin and moments later the two of them prepared for their real “grip and grin” moment.
You were at the groundbreaking ceremony for the New Jersey Wind Port in Lower Alloways Creek, Salem County. The couple touted the project as a way to position the state as a major offshore wind hub and staging point for the assembly and transportation of the 900-foot structures needed for any ocean wind turbine. The state economic development agency has estimated the total cost of construction to be between $ 300 million and $ 400 million.
New Jersey has already approved Ocean Wind I development of 30 of these giant wind turbines to be installed 15 miles off the coast of Ocean City, Cape May County. At least two other wind farm projects are under development and going through the legislative period, and other states along the east coast are following suit.
The Lower Alloways site is intended to be an assembly point for the windmill tower, which also includes the rotor, nacelle and rotor. The structures are moved in a vertical position, are too heavy for land transport and must be able to clear power lines and bridges. That was one of the reasons the secluded location in Lower Alloways Creek at the mouth of Delaware Bay was chosen, Murphy and Sweeney said.
But MP John Burzichelli, who represents the 3rd Legislative District, along with MPs Adam Taliaferro and Sweeney in the Senate, all Democrats, gave an additional glimpse into the tough battle to open the port.
“We didn’t come here by accident,” Burzichelli said to a crowd of about 100 people outside PSEG Nuclear’s Hope Creek Generating Station, where the port is to be built. “That didn’t fall from the sky. It almost came together in a fist fight at times.
“But it has teamed up. Some of these meetings were uncomfortable. And some of the words exchanged had no more than four letters. But they were effective. It was a language that broke international barriers. “
Danish utility Orsted has received permits to build Ocean Winds I and II and another company has received permits for a project called Atlantic Shores. Ocean Wind II and Atlantic Shores were approved by the state Board of Public Utilities in July. The projects are expected to generate 2,658 megawatts of clean electricity by 2029. The permits were the largest ever award of offshore wind capacity in the country and tripled the Garden State’s commitment to the emerging industry.
Ocean Winds I was approved in 2019 and will generate 1,100 megawatts of electricity when commissioned in 2024.
All projects have committed to utilize the New Jersey Wind Port and the Port of Paulsboro which will mount the monopile pole for the turbines. This port, up the Delaware River from Lower Alloways Creek, also in the Sweeney, Burzichelli and Taliaferros districts, began renovations a few years ago to build reinforced piers to handle heavy general cargo like this.
“People from different parts of the world understand that if you say something in New Jersey, it means something different than anywhere else than New Jersey,” Burzichelli told the crowd, who responded with a laugh.
Federal Ministry of Labor Sec. Marty Walsh was also present at the groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday. He welcomed a project working arrangement on the use of union labor in the port, and said President Joe Biden supports the New Jersey push for alternative energy and an infrastructure bill that goes through Congress will help fund more projects like this one.
The state has generated more than 3,700 megawatts of future electricity from offshore wind, enough to supply around 1.5 million households with electricity, according to the BPU. The two projects are expected to create 7,000 new jobs and raise $ 3.5 billion to the New Jersey economy.
The construction of the wind port is to begin this year and go into operation by the beginning of 2024 at the latest, according to a state press release.
Background information previously reported by NJ.com is included in this report.
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Bill Duhart can be reached at [email protected]