N.J. Assembly Green-Lights Wind Energy Incentive Bill

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A bill aimed at providing incentives for companies exploring wind energy development cleared the full New Jersey Assembly on Monday by a vote of 54-15-1.

The bill, A.1899, would amend the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act to expand the definition of “wind energy zone” to include property located in the project area of the “Portfields Initiative,” designated as a portfield site by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) and within a county of the second class with at least 700,000 residents (Middlesex County).

This amendment would allow the EDA to provide tax credits for qualified wind energy facilities located in this area, according to the New Jersey Assembly Majority Office.

A Dec. 18 statement from the Assembly Appropriations Committee says, “The program allows for an investment of up to $100 million in tax credits towards construction of wind energy facilities, which can be increased above that cap at the discretion of the EDA.”

The bill was sponsored by Assembly Democrats John S. Wisniewski, Craig Coughlin, Joseph Danielsen, Daniel Benson and Andrew Zwicker.

“Rising electricity costs and environmental concerns urge us to seek new ways to create, conserve and protect our energy resources,” says Wisniewski, D-Middlesex. “Wind farms and the production of clean, renewable energy will be keys to creating the sustainable future New Jersey greatly deserves.”

“To effectively reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, we need to develop strategic policy supports for renewable energy resources, including wind power,” adds Zwicker, D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset. “This bill’s business incentives and classification of wind energy zones are two important steps for New Jersey towards a comprehensive and competitive renewable energy plan.”

The measure cleared the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee.

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