NY/NJ Offshore Wind Farms Grow Job Opportunities
Friday, June 2, 2023
Offshore wind in New York and New Jersey is becoming a large contributor to job growth.
New York's offshore wind investments are slated to create between 18,000 and 23,000 jobs, according to a state estimate.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority reported offshore wind jobs will hit their peak in 2030 at 20,000, with steady growth in the next decade.
More than 120 elected officials in New Jersey have signed a letter calling for further growth in the sector.
Caren Fitzpatrick, an Atlantic County commissioner, believes southern New Jersey can become a hub to provide offshore wind development for the East Coast.
"Our manufacturing area over in Salem County, in the southwestern part of the state, is perfectly situated to create and build the turbines, the monopolies, the bases, and they can just ship them down the Delaware River," Fitzpatrick pointed out.
Fitzpatrick noted misinformation about the wind farms endangers their futures. Some of the opposition surrounds the turbines obstructing Atlantic City's views, and hazards to bird species. But the Ocean Wind Offshore Wind Farm will be 15 miles offshore, about five times farther than the human eye can see, and eight miles farther than birds migrate.
Outside of jobs, some see the state's shift to renewables as a health benefit. A 2022 report showed parts of Burlington County are more at risk for different diseases from toxic air particulate matter than others.
Balvir Singh, a Burlington County commissioner, feels it's time for New Jersey to shift to renewables.
"The bottom line is this: Clean energy is needed to protect our residents from the worst impacts of climate change," Singh asserted. "We must slow or reverse dependence on fossil fuels, and must continue to move forward with our transition to alternative sources such as solar power and wind farms."
Singh added state residents are already seeing the effects of climate change. New Jersey's 2022 State of the Climate report showed the state, along with much of the northeastern U.S. is facing increased summer temperatures, but rainfall remains unchanged, leading to brief drought conditions increasing.
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