Emily Waltz in Scientific American:
The waters of the Jersey Shore may soon become home to the nation’s first deepwater wind turbines. New Jersey officials recently announced the state would help fund an initiative by Garden State Offshore Energy to build a 350-megawatt wind farm 16 miles (26 kilometers) offshore. The state wants by 2020 many more of these parks, at least 3,000 megawatts worth, or about 13 percent of the state’s total electricity needs.
“This is probably the first of many ambitious goals to be set by states,” says Greg Watson, a senior advisor on clean energy technology to the governor of Massachusetts. “Three thousand megawatts is significant. With that you’re able to offset or even prevent fossil fuel plants from being built.”
The federal government is about to open up to wind energy development vast swaths of deep ocean waters, and states and wind park developers are vying to be the first to seize the new frontier. Wind parks in these waters can generate more energy than nearshore and onshore sites, they don’t ruin seascape views, and they don’t interfere as much with other ocean activities.