(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John S. Wisniewski, Craig Coughlin, Joseph Danielsen, Daniel Benson and Andrew Zwicker to provide incentives for companies exploring wind energy development cleared the full Assembly, 54-15-1, on Monday.
“Rising electricity costs and environmental concerns urge us to seek new ways to create, conserve and protect our energy resources,” said Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). “Wind farms and the production of clean, renewable energy will be keys to creating the sustainable future New Jersey greatly deserves.”
“Encouraging the development and expansion of wind energy initiatives is good business for the state,” said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “Attracting wind energy facilities, in the long run, will create jobs, increase our sustainability, and position our state as one of the few pioneers developing this new energy frontier.”
The bill (A-1899) would amend the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act to expand the definition of “wind energy zone” to include property located in the project area of the “Portfields Initiative,” designated as a portfield site by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) and within a county of the second class with at least 700,000 residents (Middlesex County). This amendment would also allow the Economic Development Authority to provide tax credits for qualified wind energy facilities located in this area.
“With this legislation, we can encourage business and job growth in New Jersey,” said Danielsen (D-Middlesex, Somerset). “We can also shift the state’s dependence on current energy resources by exploring the potential of natural resources through wind farming. This is New Jersey’s chance to take the lead in wind farming nationally and set an example other states can follow.”
“If we are going to meet our state’s renewable potential, we must expand wind farming as an essential green energy resource in New Jersey,” said Benson (D-Middlesex, Hunterdon). “We can only realize this potential by enabling businesses to discover the benefits of wind farming in New Jersey. Growing wind energy in the state will mean more jobs and greener, cleaner energy too.”
“To effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we need to develop strategic policy supports for renewable energy resources, including wind power,” said Zwicker (D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset). “This bill’s business incentives and classification of wind energy zones are two important steps for New Jersey towards a comprehensive and competitive renewable energy plan.”
The measure cleared the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee.