New Jersey is moving ahead with ambitious plans to build a giant wind farm out in the Atlantic Ocean.

During an offshore wind development symposium in Princeton on Thursday, company reps and industry experts gathered to discuss business and career opportunities for what is being touted as a major new industry that will be created in the Garden State.

According to Joe Fiordaliso, the president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, New Jersey over the next several years will develop a massive offshore wind farm in the Atlantic that will ultimately produce 3,500 megawatts of power by 2030.

The first phase will see 110 turbines erected up to 20 miles off the coast.

“Just think about the labor jobs that will be associated with that. Just think about the manufacturing of the wind turbines themselves. Just think about the ancillary services that need to go into supplying the necessary equipment, it has a boom for the economy," Fiordaliso said.

Brian Sabina, senior vice resident of economic transformation for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, said this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that could produce 10,000 to 16,000 jobs in the next 10 years.

Fiordaliso said New Jersey’s offshore wind program is generating international attention.

“We have European companies who are extremely interested. One has moved offices into the state of New Jersey, in Atlantic City, as a matter of fact," he said.

He noted many European countries have been using offshore wind as a major power component for the past decade, so “we’re learning from them.”

Fiordaliso added that New Jersey has a goal of generating 100 percent clean energy by 2050, and “we have a moral obligation to our children, our grandchildren and future generations to do everything humanly possible to mitigate the effects of climate change.”

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