(Gloucestercitynews.net)(July 1, 2020)--Earlier this month it was reported that New Jersey’s promising offshore wind power industry will be getting a new hub – a port constructed solely for the purpose of offshore wind in the United States. On Tuesday, June 16, Governor Phil Murphy publicized plans that would see the construction of a new port in Salem County. The port is expected to be constructed on the same man-made island that currently houses the Salem Nuclear Plant and the Hope Creek Nuclear Power Plant.
Port to boost local employment and economic activity
The New Jersey Wind Port is promising to create in excess of 1,500 full-time jobs while also contributing more than $500 million to the local economy annually. This will go a long way towards aiding the state in reaching its ultimate goal of becoming increasingly dependent on clean energy. According to Governor Murphy, the port will play an immense role in helping New Jersey recovery financially from the Covid-19 pandemic. He went on to say: “We desperately need jobs, good-paying union jobs, in places like Salem County.” The project will see a partnership between a number of private-sector entities such as the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) and the Economic Development Administration (EDA).
Numerous goals exist
Initial construction on the port is set to begin in 2021. The first stage of the project will entail constructing a manufacturing site of 25 acres as well as a 30-acre marshaling and staging site. With both essential and non-essential construction also permitted in the state since mid-May, the industry is already equipped to start preparing the proposed site. Not only are construction concerns fully-operational, but it is also no longer a struggle to procure essential spare parts such as tracks for skid loaders and mini excavators. Governor Murphy stated that the first stage is of the utmost importance if his goal of generating no less than 7,500 megawatts of clean energy is to be reached by 2035. The ultimate goal, however, is to be sporting a 100% clean energy economy by 2050.
A once-in-a-generation opportunity
During one of his daily Covid-19 briefing in Trenton, Murphy referred to the port project as a once-in-a-generation opportunity. The explained how the developing offshore-wind industry is one that displays exponential growth potential. It also has the potential to position the state as a leader in an evolving international market. Apart from the South Jersey project, the governor has also set his sights on other shallow-water locations including Virginia, Rhode Island, Maine, Connecticut, Maryland, and New York – all of which have plans to construct offshore wind generators. Apart from the financial benefits, the project will also help make clean air available which will undoubtedly be needed in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic according to State Health Commissioner, Judith Persichili.
The New Jersey Wind Port will benefit the South Jersey region in countless ways. Not only will thousands of jobs be created, but the residents of the state will also be privy to increasingly cleaner air.
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