NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Chrissy Buteas offered comments today at a public hearing for the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Offshore Wind Strategic Plan.
Buteas raised concerns about the overall impact to ratepayers as the board collected public input on the state’s plan to implement 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind capacity. New Jersey currently has the highest electric rates in the PJM grid and the 12th highest residential electric costs in the nation, with 24 percent of the typical commercial or industrial electric bill attributed to government-imposed taxes and fees.
“Offshore wind is a laudable goal and a potential component of our energy portfolio and we support wind power and technology businesses,” Buteas said. “NJBIA also recognizes that a stable electric grid receives power from a diverse mix of sources. But we must also be sure that ratepayers are not inadvertently disadvantaged in order to accomplish these goals.
“A comprehensive Energy Master Plan will drive the state toward a more reliable, more affordable, and greener energy future. This plan must include an understanding of the complex dynamic between commercial and industrial ratepayers and efforts to embark on new and exciting energy projects.
“It will likely be these ratepayers who are asked to subsidize a long-term effort to kick start the state’s renewable energy portfolio, and so we have to always keep in mind the entirety of the effects of these projects on the Garden State.”