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New Jersey Governor Raises Offshore Wind Goal

Joseph De Avila | Wall Street Journal

JERSEY CITY, N.J.—New Jersey is more than doubling its target for offshore-wind energy production under an executive order signed by Gov. Phil Murphy, as the state steps up efforts to eliminate fossil fuels over the next three decades.

Mr. Murphy’s executive order, signed Tuesday, commits the state to generating 7,500 megawatts of offshore-wind energy, enough to power 3.2 million homes, by 2035. The Democratic governor previously signed an executive order in 2018 that set a goal of reaching 3,500 megawatts by 2030.

“No other renewable energy resource provides us either the electric-generation or economic-growth potential of offshore wind,” said Mr. Murphy at a news conference in Jersey City with former Vice President Al Gore.

The state awarded its first offshore wind contract in June for 1,100 megawatts to Ørsted A/S, an energy company from Denmark, in one of the largest offshore-wind deals in the U.S. It will be located off the coast of Atlantic City.

Mr. Gore, a Democrat known for promoting environmental initiatives, said the state’s new offshore wind goal was “a significant accomplishment.”

“Today’s announcement couldn’t be more timely and more needed, as climate-related extreme weather events continue to wreak havoc on our communities,” Mr. Gore said.

Neighboring New York has set a goal of reaching 9,000 megawatts of offshore-wind energy by 2035.

New Jersey environmental groups welcomed the new goal.

“This is one of the biggest offshore wind proposals in the nation and an opening for more progress on wind energy,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “More importantly, offshore wind will help reduce [greenhouse gases] and stop fossil-fuel power plants and pipelines in New Jersey.”

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