(The Center Square) – New Jersey state and federal officials broke ground Thursday on the roughly $250 million New Jersey Wind Port, saying it will generate jobs and lead to economic development.
Project proponents touted the port as a “first-in-the-nation infrastructure investment” to support offshore wind projects on the East Coast.
New Jersey’s fiscal 2022 budget includes $200 million allocated for the New Jersey Wind Port. Additionally, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is kicking in $13 million, and the New Jersey Department of Transportation is covering $44 million for dredging.
“The New Jersey Wind Port will create thousands of high-quality jobs, bring millions of investment dollars to our state, and establish New Jersey as the national capital of offshore wind,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in an announcement.
The wind port, located on an artificial island on the eastern shores of the Delaware River, southwest of the city of Salem in Salem County, is part of New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan (EMP). According to a Garden State Initiative (GSI) report, it is unclear what the EMP will cost the state and whether it will help reduce emissions.
The port “will play a key role in attracting billions of investment dollars to New Jersey that will provide jobs for working families and opportunities for businesses throughout the state,” New Jersey State Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio said in an announcement. “This will have immediate impacts for communities and will set New Jersey on a path to a strong and equitable economic future.”
Officials signed a project labor agreement (PLA) between AECOM-Tishman, the project’s construction manager, and the United Building Trades Council of Southern New Jersey AFL-CIO during the event.
At least 25% of subcontractors must be small businesses, and at least 15% must be women-, minority- or veteran-owned. The project also stipulates that 18% of workers are people of color and 6.9% are women.
“The New Jersey Wind Port will be a critical project and can ensure our communities are able to access the full economic and environmental benefits of this growing renewable energy industry,” New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso said in an announcement.