Top officials in the Biden Administration announced a set of actions to support rapid expansion of offshore wind energy, with a primary goal of creating “tens of thousands of high-paying, union jobs.” Nationwide, the Administration plans to offer $3 billion in loan guarantees for offshore wind projects and has set a target to deploy 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030. To advance this goal, officials announced port upgrade investments of more than $500 million, the development of new factories for offshore wind components, and other infrastructure to support a domestic supply chain for offshore wind manufacturing.
Today’s announcements also included the designation of a new priority Wind Energy Area spanning between Long Island and the Jersey Shore in the New York Bight. Offshore wind development in this region alone is projected to create 25,000 development and construction jobs from 2022 to 2030 and an additional 7,000 jobs in communities supported by this development, as well as up to 4,000 operations and maintenance jobs annually.
Berenice Tompkins, organizer for Jersey Renews, released the following statement in response to the Biden Administration announcement:
“These federal actions to accelerate offshore wind expansion are historic for New Jersey and nationwide. The climate crisis calls for federal and state action to transform our economy, not just into a low-carbon economy, but one that serves workers and communities. The emphasis this announcement has placed on the creation of good, union jobs in offshore wind shows federal support for advancing climate and worker justice together. Particularly with the designation of a new Wind Energy Area that can provide clean, renewable energy to the Jersey Shore, we hope to see state and federal collaboration to push these initiatives even further and set an example for what an equitable, worker-centered renewable economy can look like.
The Administration’s investments in infrastructure development for an offshore wind supply chain, including the $500 million investment in ports, will be key to ensuring that wind jobs will exist for generations, not just for the initial phase of a project’s construction, and will bring long-term economic security and development to communities across the country.
We appreciate Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy naming that offshore wind can and should create pathways to the middle class ‘for people of all backgrounds and communities.’ We urge the Administration to prioritize workforce development as a core piece of these offshore wind expansion initiatives. Investing in training and addressing barriers to career pathways in offshore wind is critical to ensure that our burgeoning green economy serves as an engine to address our dual climate and inequality crises.”
Jersey Renews is a state-based coalition of 65 labor, environmental and community groups fighting for state-based climate action and good, family-sustaining jobs in the transition to a green economy.