The State of New Jersey has approved an offshore wind farm as the first step in an ambitious plan to triple the amount of wind power it uses by 2020. Governor Jon Corzine announced a plan to increase usage to 3,000 megawatts by that date, which would represent 13 percent of New Jersey's total energy use, or enough to power between 800,000 and one million homes.
Currently, no offshore windmills exist in the United States. Rhode Island and Delaware, however, have approved projects. In New Jersey, Garden State Offshore Energy, a joint venture of PSE&G Renewable Generation and Deepwater Wind, was chosen to build a $1 billion, 345 megawatt off-shroe wind farm about 16 miles southeast of Atlantic City. That plant would genereate enough electricity to power 125,000 homes.
According to the governor, the project could create as many as 500 new jobs once completed, and twice that amount during construction and installation of the turbines. The state Board of Public Utilities has set aside $19 million for wind farm grants. "We want to create this generation's race to the moon, but this time, a race to the sea, to harness this potential wind source off of our coasts, and bring economic development, environmental benefits, and new, green jobs to the Garden State," said Corzine.
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