Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, preaching benefits of industry, pushes back on poll

Company: Wind energy integral to clean energy future — ‘Its environmental, job and economic benefits are real’

Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, which is building the first offshore wind turbines off the coast of New Jersey, was concerned by the results of a poll released Tuesday that showed New Jersey residents appear to be souring on the sector.

The Monmouth University poll showed over half of New Jersey residents (54%) favored placing electricity-generating wind farms off the state’s coast, while 40% oppose this action.
Atlantic Shores, in a statement, said it hopes residents will see the big picture in offshore wind.

“We must not lose sight of the fact that clean energy is urgently needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Wind energy is an integral part of the state’s plan, and it needs to be built. Its environmental, job and economic benefits are real.”

According to the poll, approximately 4 in 10 opposed said they thought wind farms could hurt the state’s summer tourism economy, and just under half saw a connection between wind energy development and the recent spate of dead whales washing up on New Jersey beaches.

Atlantic Shores said the benefits to the state economy are overwhelmingly positive.

“Offshore wind will bring new facilities, supply chain businesses and jobs to the state,” it said in the statement. “As a developer, we are here to support New Jersey in meeting its clean energy goals and driving economic growth within the state. Our project alone will bring power to more than 700,000 homes, generate $1.9 billion in economic activity and create 18,000 jobs.”

Atlantic Shores officials said the company is eager to educate the state on what the offshore wind industry can mean.

“Being able to bring a new offshore wind industry to this state and the country is exciting — but it doesn’t come without challenges, and the need to educate and engage in information sharing,” they said in the statement. “We have a role to play in helping people understand offshore wind and ensuring that they have accurate information. We embrace this role and will continue to openly communicate with New Jerseyans who want to know more.”

Atlantic Shores said it felt the industry is being hurt by misinformation.

“The spreading of misinformation and lies is dangerous and doesn’t serve the people of this state who so urgently need the benefits that offshore wind will bring,” it said. “It must stop.”