The United States Department of Energy is providing 47-million-dollars for a preliminary study on an offshore wind energy project that includes New Jersey.

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The Department recently announced that one of three projects involved in the study includes building a wind turbine three miles off the coast of Atlantic City with the goal of having it connected to the U.S. Electrical Grid and producing energy by 2017.

"What we're trying to do here is demonstrate technologies on a scale that we believe are needed to really move this industry forward," said Jose Zayas, Director of Wind and Water Power Technologies with the Department of Energy.

New Jersey lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are applauding the innovative project and say it has the potential to deliver a clean source of power, create thousands of jobs and help the U.S. meet its renewable energy goals.

The New Jersey project will be spearheaded by Fishermen's Energy in Atlantic City, which has years of maritime experience.

Zayas said the Department of Energy will provide oversight for all of its private partners, "These particular projects are collaborative projects. They're not grants, where the Department is quite engaged in the execution, the oversight of the engineering and other elements to ensure of the costs and the milestones, etc., are done on time and on budget."

Data will be collected at each of the project sites for the next five years.

Zayas said each one of the projects has to go through a rigorous process to evaluate the potential environmental impact. "Additionally, each one of the entities gather a lot of information at the site, monitoring to understand what are the kinds of animals, mammals, and etc, that may be present there, and of course try to mitigate the impact to those particular species." He added the process involves community interaction as well to ensure all entities can co-exist.