By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor
LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK, N.J. — On Thursday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, other top New Jersey officials, and U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh officially broke ground on the New Jersey Wind Port project in Salem County.
The Wind Port is the nation’s first built specifically for offshore wind port positions, and it’s the state’s most significant investment into Salem County in years. The project will cost somewhere between $300 million and $400 million to complete, but the state says it has the potential to create up to 1,500 jobs and generate $500 million in economic activity.
The facility will be used to create products used in the United States’ offshore wind projects, which could help create more sustainable, environment-friendly energy going forward.
“Investing in offshore wind is vital to building a stronger, greener economy that creates high-paying jobs to support a robust recovery from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and paves the way for long-term, equitable growth,” Gov. Murphy said in a statement. “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.”
The 1,500 projected jobs created by the new facility will be in the manufacturing, assembly, and operations fields, and it also could generate hundreds more union construction jobs in the area.
Although the facility could provide South Jersey’s local economy with a boost, its greatest potential impact is perhaps the support it’ll give to the global fight against climate change.
“South Jersey is becoming the hub of wind energy – meeting the challenge of climate change head-on. Tropical Storm Ida tragically underscored just how urgent the need for climate action is,” Congressman Donald Norcross said in a press release. “The Alloway Wind Port will create good-paying union jobs and help revitalize local economies. It will secure America’s energy independence while also making our grid more resilient. And we’re only just starting to build back better. The bipartisan infrastructure bill includes once-in-a-generation investments in clean energy technologies that will benefit New Jersey and the nation, creating good-paying jobs, improving our environment, and bringing our nation’s infrastructure in the 21st century.”
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