One of New Jersey’s key economic development strategies has been to work with property owners, developers, and municipalities to clean up and redevelop blighted and contaminated industrial sites. The program known as the Brownfields Development Area (BDA) initiative is designed to implement remediation and reuse plans simultaneously in order to facilitate redevelopment of the property in a coordinated fashion. Under the BDA approach, the state works with property owners, municipalities and developers to convert blighted sites into clean properties that can be developed to bring jobs, tax revenue and a cleaner environment to local communities. WEC is located in a BDA and was once the location of a chemical plant.
As part of the remediation and reuse plan, this long-abandoned site has been cleaned up and for the first time in over a hundred years, the public will be granted access to the Raritan River, a highly desirable public benefit that does not currently exist in Woodbridge. The Woodbridge Waterfront Park will include a system of boardwalks and trails and over 100 acres of wetlands enhancement and creation. Visit Great Ecology’s website for more information.
The Woodbridge Energy Center (WEC) provides a long-term source of additional revenue benefiting the local community. Through a long-term financial agreement with the Woodbridge Township, the funds can be used to help reduce tax burdens, support school districts and provide funding for infrastructure maintenance, civic programs, and much more.
In addition, by lowering congestion costs as the result of locating generation closer to where the power will be used, this project will save New Jersey ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
In addition to the substantial tax revenue that the WEC will provide, the local economy has also benefitted from the creation of well-paying jobs both during construction and operation. The WEC has employed as many as 600 skilled workers during construction and 22 permanent employees since achieving commercial operation.
With an estimated project cost of nearly $900 million, local merchants and other businesses have also benefitted from the increased economic activity that was generated because of the additional jobs in the area. More area employees means more money going to support and strengthen local businesses including retail stores, restaurants, hardware, building & supply stores, and hotels. Also, CPV considers the host community a partner in this project and makes it a policy to purchase from and support local vendors whenever possible.
The WEC will conserve water resources by using predominately “grey water” from the Middlesex County Utilities Authority. This benefits the environment by recycling and using wastewater that would otherwise be discharged into the Raritan River. Minimizing our impact on valuable water resources and the environment is another way we demonstrate our commitment to being a good neighbor.