New Jersey’s governor has recently signed a Bill that would remove most local control from where and how offshore wind energy projects come ashore. Aside from granting local communities a public hearing on an offshore project that comes ashore in their town, the measure strips those communities and their elected officials of most control over where and how the project’s power lines and associated infrastructure are installed onshore.

It does however require that power lines run underground in most cases, but sets up a mechanism where the relevant State’s Board of Public Utilities (BPU) can approve a project if local authorities delay or obstruct it. Some shore communities, such as Ocean City, have opposed the Bill.

The most commonly voiced objections include the unknown effects that a lot of wind turbines might have on the ocean, fears of higher electric bills as costs are passed on to consumers, and a sense that the entire undertaking is being rushed through with little understanding of what the consequences might be.