Survey: Most N.J. voters support offshore wind

By Emily Bader
Atlantic City | May 14, 2020 at 5:09 am

Just a month after Gov. Phil Murphy announced plans to create an offshore wind workforce development hub in the state, Bellwether Research, on behalf of Ørsted, conducted a survey to find out what New Jerseyans truly think of wind parks.

The survey found most New Jersey voters (82%) favor expanding wind energy in the state, compared to 13% who don’t approve. And nearly two-thirds (73%) said that offshore wind will impact the environment in a positive way.

The Ocean Wind offshore wind farm, which will be the first utility-scale farm in the state located 15 miles off the coast of Atlantic City, holds the favorability of 77% of voters statewide and 74% in Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean counties. Beachfront property owners are just as supportive (70% in favor) as those who don’t live at the beach (75% in favor).

Concerns over the view are minimal, with 7 in 10 New Jersey voters saying they vacation on the Shore and 85% of them saying they would continue to vacation even if they saw turbines out in the water.

Three-fourths of respondents said area tourism will remain the same (62%) or increase (14%) as a result of the project. Voters in the state’s most southern-coastal counties (Atlantic, Cape May, Ocean) were in agreement: 64% the same, 11% increase.

The top reason to support the project according to voters is “it will create clean energy for half a million homes in New Jersey,” with 47% who care “a great deal” about climate change, 34% care some and 18% don’t care much or at all.

More than half (52%) said they are less likely to support an elected official who wants to stop offshore wind over the 32% who are more likely to support them and 11% who aren’t sure.

The survey was conducted by phone with 600 registered New Jersey voters for the main sample and 314 registered voters for the Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean counties sample. The margin of error is +/- 4% and on 314 it is +/- 5.6%.

Emily Bader | ebader@roi-nj.com | @emilybader