Offshore wind program expansion passed in Assembly committee

TRENTON – Without objection, the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee passed A3277 today, expanding the law granting tax credits for development of qualified wind energy facilities to include Paulsboro in Gloucester County, or other similarly situated towns.

Sponsored by Assemblymen John Wisniewski (D-19), of Sayreville, and Upendra Chivukula (D-17), of Franklin Township, the bill amends the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act to expand the definition of “wind energy zone” to include “Portfields Initiative” property – designated portfield sites marked by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the state Economic Development Authority – in second-class counties with at least 600,000 residents.

Even with the inclusionary amendment, the program has the same $100 million bankroll as when it was passed into law last year, according to Chivukula, who chairs the committee. No new funding is being proposed.

Other municipalities, like Perth Amboy, are similarly seeking state financing or incentives for the creation of offshore wind facilities.

Representing Mayor Wilda Diaz, Perth Amboy’s Urban Enterprise Zone Chairman Barry Rosengarten urged the Legislature to pass the amendment and to go even further.

“Perth Amboy has petitioned the Legislature to create another wind energy zone,” he told the panel, “which in Perth Amboy we are calling ‘ePort,’ or energy port.”

“We believe Perth Amboy’s ePort site is ideally positioned to become one of the nation’s premier centers for renewable energy research, development, and manufacturing,” Rosengarten said. “We envision ePort focusing on wind energy, as well as other renewable energy sources including solar, hydrokinetic, and creative high-energy battery storage devices.”

 

Offshore wind program expansion passed in Assembly committee