New Jersey is taking steps to become a major hub for offshore wind in the United States, announcing a plan to build a 30-acre port along the Delaware River for assembling and deploying turbines, plus an additional 25 acres for manufacturing facilities. Officials say the new port, which is expected to cost as much as $400 million, will create up to 1,500 jobs in southern New Jersey.
The port will be located on an artificial island built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the early 20th century in Lower Alloways Creek Township. The island is already home to three nuclear reactors, including the Salem Nuclear Power Plant, managed by the utilities company Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), The Washington Post reported. No bridges exist between the island and the Atlantic Ocean, allowing turbines built at the staging facility to be hoisted upright and towed out to sea without obstruction. Construction on the port is expected to start in 2021. A second phase of the project would add even more land for manufacturing facilities and technological development.
“We’ll be able to be the focal point for the industry in this part of the country,” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy told The Washington Post. “We want a significant piece of the supply chain… So we’re literally creating this industry from whole cloth.”
The announcement, made earlier this week, is the latest development in New Jersey’s effort to become a major player in the country’s emerging offshore wind industry, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. The state has pledge to produce 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035 and to generate 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2050.