Mazzeo, Armato & DeAngelo Bill to Encourage Wind Energy Projects in NJ Clears Legislature
(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, John Armato, and Wayne DeAngelo to allow BPU consideration and approval of amended application for qualified wind energy project offshore in certain New Jersey territorial waters was approved Thursday by the full Assembly, 57-12. It will now go to the Governor's desk for further consideration. The bill (A-2485) would allow the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (board) to provide for the submission of an amended application for the qualified wind energy project that the board is currently authorized to approve under existing law. Specifically, under current law, the board is to approve a qualified wind energy project that is located in territorial waters offshore of a municipality in which casino gaming is authorized. "The Fisherman's Energy Offshore Wind Project off the coast of Atlantic City is a ready-to-go project that can create jobs and diversify our energy portfolio," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "Former Governor Christie's complete backtrack on wind energy during this tenure in office set New Jersey back a decade in utilizing offshore wind. It's time to get moving again to truly harness the incredible potential we have in New Jersey for offshore wind." "We're glad to see Governor Murphy's do a reset from his predecessor on wind energy. In order to get to the Governor's 3500MW goal for wind energy, we should be greenlighting projects like Fisherman's Energy," said Armato (D-Atlantic). "Offshore wind isn't a one-size fit all approach. We should be looking at projects big and small to green our environment and our economy." "New Jersey has enormous potential of offshore wind," said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "However, even with the "Offshore Wind Economic Development Act," the State has not yet begun to develop any offshore wind projects. These projects cannot be delayed any longer." The bill requires the board to provide a 90-day period for the submission of an amended application for such a project for which an original application has already been submitted. The board's review of this amended application would be limited to addressing any modification that may needed to meet any concerns previously expressed or considered by the board specifically concerning the issues of turbine selection and substantiation of financial viability. The bill also provides that the cumulative number of wind turbines approved for the project would not exceed six. The bill was approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on April 5.