Harnessing Offshore Wind:  The Latest in Community Conversations Across New Jersey


By Erica Spencer-EL, New Jersey Community Liaison 

In the pursuit of a sustainable future, the shift towards renewable energy sources has become imperative. Offshore wind energy, in particular, holds immense potential in this transition. As the Community Liaison for the Attentive Energy Two (AE2) project in New Jersey, in my short time in this role, I have had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the transformative power of community outreach in shaping the landscape of clean energy and sustainable initiatives. 

My journey towards community engagement and advocacy began with a background deeply rooted in community affairs and communication. From fostering collaborations between law enforcement and local communities, to spearheading outreach programs in New York and New Jersey, my career has been driven by a passion for building strong and resilient communities. 

At Attentive Energy, we recognize the importance of engaging with diverse stakeholders to ensure the success of offshore wind projects across the Bight. Community outreach is not just a checkbox; it is a fundamental aspect of our approach to sustainable development. 

Recently, we organized two Community Roundtable events in Paterson and Asbury Park. These gatherings provided a platform for local businesses, community-based organizations, and local residents to learn about our offshore wind, the technology, our project and its potential impact on their communities. 

In Paterson, a city with a rich industrial history, stakeholders expressed a keen interest in how the offshore wind industry could revitalize the local workforce. Discussions centered on job opportunities, supply chain integration, and the broader economic implications of renewable energy development.  

Similarly, in Asbury Park, attendees raised pertinent questions about the environmental, economic and social aspects of offshore wind energy, as well as conveyed a strong desire for local businesses to be part of the goods and services procured by offshore wind projects. Furthermore, stakeholders were seeking reassurance on responsible development and the overall impacts on ratepayers and the financial well-being of New Jerseyans. Our team was committed to addressing these concerns transparently, fostering an atmosphere of trust and collaboration. 

Through these engagements, which are only but two of many community conversations we have been holding around the State, we aim to demystify offshore wind energy and empower communities to actively participate in the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable future. Education and awareness play a pivotal role in this process, and we remain dedicated to providing stakeholders with the information and resources they need to make informed decisions. 

As we continue to navigate the complexities of offshore wind development, it is crucial to recognize the invaluable role of community engagement. By listening to the voices of local residents, businesses, and organizations, we can ensure that our projects are not only environmentally responsible but also socially equitable. 

About the Author: 

Erica, a Philadelphia native and Temple University graduate, is passionate about addressing social and environmental issues. With a diverse background in community & intergovernmental affairs and communication, she brings a wealth of experience to her role as the Community Liaison for the Attentive Energy Two project. When she’s not advocating for clean energy, Erica enjoys family activities, coaching softball, gardening, and exploring new destinations around the world. 


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