TRENTON  — This morning at 3 a.m. the New Jersey State Assembly passed a wind energy bill, which would provide $100 million in tax credits for companies manufacturing components for wind turbines in New Jersey, and a market-based incentive program for developers of wind farms off of the Jersey coast.
The "Offshore Wind Economic Development Act," is intended to help the state meet the mandate of its Energy Master Plan, which calls for the development of 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2020.
The program will be administered by the Board of Public Utilities and will require that projects make economic sense for N.J. The states of Virginia and Kentucky recently rejected wind farm proposals because they were deemed too expensive.
The Senate passed the bill earlier in the day by a vote of 27 to 10. The Assembly approved the legislation by 71 to 6 with 1 abstention. It will now go to Gov. Chris Christie to be signed into law.
"Without this legislation, New Jersey will have lost the race to attract this new industry, without having entered the race," said Daniel Cohen, co-founder and president of Fishermen's Energy of NJ, which is developing two wind farms off of Atlantic City.
This article was published in The Star-Ledger on June 29th, 2010 and was written by Abby Gruen.