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June 2006

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.

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