Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, January 2005


Consideration of Environmental & Economic Issues Needed


In mid-December, New Jersey Acting Governor Richard Codey announced he would sign an Executive Order (EO) establishing a moratorium on windmills off the coast to provide time and discussion for appropriate policies that are needed prior to the consideration of offshore wind energy.  Shortly after Codey’s announcement, NJ Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) introduced a bill in the NJ Senate to establish a seven-year moratorium on offshore wind projects.


In the past few years, numerous pre-proposals for wind turbines are in various stages of development along the Atlantic coast.  At least nine preliminary proposals for marine-based industrial wind facilities in the NY/NJ Bight exist, with a number of different companies sponsoring the proposals.  These proposals include more than 921 wind turbines occupying more than 413 square miles of ocean.  Over 90% percent of the preliminary projects would be proposed for federal waters (beyond three miles from shore).  Dimensions for these proposed wind facilities may include 417-foot turbines, 328-foot diameter turbine blades, and a 100’x100’x150’ service platform to accommodate crew quarters and a helicopter landing pad.


Offshore wind power in other parts of the world has demonstrated its potential—an emissions and pollution-free source of energy.  However, these experiences have also demonstrated environmental  and economic issues that accompany the use of wind power, including impacts to avian populations, marine impacts, and use of public trust lands.  In NJ and the US, there is a lack of comprehensive federal and state policies on offshore wind energy.  No regulations address the complex issues arising from this new technology. 


Clean Ocean Action (COA) supports Acting Governor Codey’s initiative as a responsible and reasonable good governance approach to this proposed ocean based activity.  The American Littoral Society (ALS) has taken the regional lead on this issue.  Click here to review the position paper which was prepared by ALS and supported by  COA, Marine Trades Association of New Jersey, Surfrider Foundation – New Jersey Chapter, and Fishermen’s Dock Cooperative.


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