Clean Energy Venture, a subsidiary of energy giant New Jersey Resources, is making its foray into wind power by acquiring 20 percent ownership in OwnEnergy Inc.

The $8.8 million dollar investment will put a member from CEV onto the board of OwnEnergy, a Brooklyn based developer of mid-sized and community wind projects that creates “shovel ready” wind energy projects that get passed on to physical developers who construct the turbines.

OwnEnergy does the development of the site, including environmental and technical studies, working with utilities, permitting, and financing. They then sell that site to another company or developer to build the wind project.

By CEV having a minority stakeholder position, it will allow NJR to have access to wind energy experts as well as the option but not obligation to purchase wind projects

”We could actually purchase one of the sited developed by Own[Energy] and actually build a wind project ourselves.” Says New Jersey Resources spokesperson Michael Kinney.

By owning a majority stake holder position, NJR would receive priority in purchasing projects of their choosing.

He notes while this is CEV first venture into wind energy, they have a lot of experience within the solar energy field.

“To date we’ve invested about a hundred and fifty million in capital to develop thirty five mega watts of projects both residential and commercial throughout the state of New Jersey. This is the next step in our clean energy strategy to diversify our portfolio a bit and to get into other forms of renewable energy.”

In addition to having the opportunity to develop wind project, Kinney says the acquisition allows CEV and NJR have a leg up getting into the wind energy marketplace.

“To get a first hand working knowledge and working experience of the wind energy market utilizing OwnsEnergy energy and development expertise to get a hands on grasp of a new industry, instead of starting from scratch.”

OwnEnergy partners with landowners, farmers, and local businesses to develop projects in the range of 10 to 80 megawatts. According to NJR “OwnEnergy has developed and sold three projects, totaling 141 MW of power and has a pipeline of more than 1,300 MW in various stages of development.”

Though the majority of OwnEnergy’s projects aren’t located in New Jersey, rather focusing on inland wind turbines, Kinney says wind energy in general is a promising industry within the country.

“Since 2007 35 percent of the electric capacity has come from wind so there’s a real opportunity to and develop a new part of an expanding energy portfolio. It’s clearly going to be part of the energy future going forward.”