At today’s COVID-19 press briefing, Gov. Phil Murphy, alongside New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) CEO Tim Sullivan, announced plans to construct New Jersey Wind Port, the nation’s first purpose-built marshalling and manufacturing port dedicated to the offshore wind industry.
Construction of the port, which will be located in Lower Alloways Creek in Salem County, is expected to begin next year with a 25-acre manufacturing site and a 30-acre marshalling and staging site.
“Eventually, the wind port will house multiple factories creating thousands of jobs where the parts for offshore wind turbines will be built,” Murphy said. “We will take full advantage of our world-leading and central geographic location to drive the growth of a new industry right here [in New Jersey]. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”
“This is a $500-million annual economic impact project,” Sullivan added.
While not directly related to COVID-19, Murphy added that the port will play a role in the state’s long-term economic recovery.
“The New Jersey Wind Port is one way that we will position our economy for growth as we emerge together from this pandemic,” Murphy said. “This is an exciting partnership driven by the EDA alongside private-sector partners including PSE&G, that will mean an investment of at least $300 million in our infrastructure, future and in thousands of green energy jobs.”
According to the governor’s office, the port has the potential to add 1,500 manufacturing, assembly, and operations jobs, as well as hundreds of construction jobs.
The state currently estimates New Jersey Wind Port will cost between $300-$400 million at full build. The EDA, which is leading development, is currently considering a range of public, private, and public-private partnership (P3) financing options.
New Jersey Wind Port will aid in the state’s journey towards its ambitious goal of achieving 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035, and a 100% clean energy economy by 2050.
“The New Jersey Wind Port will tap into one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, creating high-quality jobs for New Jersey residents and bringing millions of dollars into our communities with a particularly strong impact on communities in South Jersey,” Sullivan said. “This will be especially important as we work to get people back to work and jumpstart economic growth in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Separately, Murphy unveiled New Jersey’s ranking compared to the rest of the country in a few key metrics related to COVID-19.
New Jersey currently ranks 32nd out of 50 in the number of new cases per day, which is reason for optimism when coupled with the state’s declining number of new hospitalizations due to the virus, as well as a declining rate of virus reproduction.
However, Murphy said there are reasons to remain vigilant, evidenced by New Jersey having the fourth highest number of patients currently hospitalized due to the virus, as well as ranking No. 1 (most) in the nation in COVID-19 related deaths per day.
The state now has a total of 167,426 confirmed cases of COVID-19, as well as 12,727 virus-related fatalities.
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