Test project of offshore wind recommended
Trenton, NJ— New Jersey should consider
launching a limited and carefully monitored offshore wind-turbine
test project to gather more data about the technology’s
costs and benefits, the state’s Blue Ribbon Panel on the
Development of Wind Turbine Facilities in Coastal Waters recommended
in its final report.
Culminating a 15-month examination of whether
offshore wind would be an appropriate alternative energy source
for New Jersey, the panel proposed in its report that scientific
baseline studies be conducted to further assess potential natural-resource
and economic impacts before wind turbine facilities are constructed
in coastal waters. During its evaluation, the panel had recognized
the need for baseline studies after identifying major gaps in
data about New Jersey’s offshore natural resources, including
migratory birds and mammals, and how offshore wind turbines
might affect them.
In the final report, the panel outlines New
Jersey’s growing energy-supply crisis, which has spawned
high electricity costs, particularly along the state’s
coast. Acknowledging that no single strategy will solve all
of New Jersey’s energy problems, the report urges state
agencies to promote an aggressive, multifaceted solution of
energy-efficiency standards and various renewable energy technologies.