On August 19, 2010, Governor Chris Christie signed into law the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (P.L.2010, c.57), which amends and supplements the Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act and the Global Warming Response Act.  Principally, this new legislation directs the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to establish an offshore wind renewable energy certificate (OREC) program, requiring a percentage of the electricity sold in New Jersey to be from offshore wind energy, and authorizes the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) to provide financial assistance to qualified offshore wind projects and associated equipment manufacturers and assembling facilities and to approve tax credits. 


A qualified offshore wind project is defined to mean “a wind turbine electricity generation facility in the Atlantic Ocean and connected to the electric transmission system in this State, and includes the associated transmission-related interconnection facilities and equipment, and approved by the [BPU.]”  Under the new tax credit program, the EDA may approve up to $100,000,000 in tax credits (and may exceed this amount under certain circumstances), which may be used by qualifying businesses to recover as much as 100% of their capital investment in wind energy facilities.