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New Jersey Offshore Wind Power Plants Does Not Blow Them Away

New Jersey is vigorously pursuing its goal of becoming the East Coast’s leader in the fast-growing offshore wind energy industry, but not everyone is impressed. While the state’s Democratic political leadership is solidly behind a rapid build-out of wind energy projects off the coast — the state has set a goal of generating 100 percent of its energy from clean sources by 2050 — citizen groups and even some green energy-loving environmentalists are concerned about the plans’ pace and scope.

The unknown effect of hundreds or possibly thousands of wind turbines on the ocean, fears of rising utility bills as expenses are passed on to consumers, and a sense that the entire project is being pushed through with little knowledge of the effects are among the most prominent objections. In addition, fishers, both recreational and commercial, have long felt left out of the planning for offshore wind, which will occur in many great fishing locations.

Offshore wind opponents in Massachusetts, France, and South Korea, among other areas, have expressed similar concerns. In addition, a law passed by the state Legislature and pending approval by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, which, aside from providing them a public hearing, would strip local municipalities of practically all discretion over where and how power lines reach ashore, is adding to the dissatisfaction.

Orsted, a Danish business, stated that it is entirely dedicated to sustaining the offshore wind industry in New Jersey. Our teams have hosted several open houses and are devoted to interacting with community stakeholders to educate them on the numerous economic, environmental, and community benefits of offshore wind. According to the corporation, it is devoted to conserving the marine environment. It has already changed the intended configuration of its turbines in one project in response to feedback from fishing groups.

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