New Jersey Releases Offshore Wind Institute Plan

The New Jersey Wind Council has released a report detailing plans for creating the Wind Innovation and New Development (WIND) Institute.

The WIND Institute will serve as a center for education, research, innovation, and workforce training related to the development of offshore wind in New Jersey and the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.

To inform its recommendations, the council assessed the state of the local industry, analyzed the workforce assets, and facilitated discussions with stakeholder groups, including offshore wind industry members, organized labor, educational institutes, and fisheries.

The gathered data and insights revealed that having a single entity focused on coordinating state- and industry-wide collaboration will be essential to addressing offshore wind companies’ pressing workforce development needs and fostering local research, innovation, and thought leadership.

In the report, the Wind Council recommends that the institute adopts the mentioned role in New Jersey and takes the lead in organizing and developing solutions to further the state’s offshore wind sector. 

Specific recommendations include the institute to be established as an independent authority with a corollary non-profit.

It should also coordinate and galvanize cross-organizational efforts by acting as a centralized hub for offshore wind workforce development and leverage a combination of state, federal, and philanthropic funding to ensure sustained and adequate support.

“The report released today outlines our plans for establishing a WIND Institute that will facilitate workforce development, research, and innovation in New Jersey’s offshore wind industry, ensuring that we take full advantage of this opportunity to grow our economy and create new opportunities for New Jersey workers while protecting our environment,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

In August 2019, Governor Murphy signed an executive order to establish the Council for the WIND Institute.

At the end of the year, Murphy signed an order increasing the state’s offshore wind target from 3.5 GW by 2030 to 7.5 GW by 2035.

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