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The South Jersey Port Corporation (SJPC) has deployed its first all-electric terminal tractor, the vanguard of 27 cargo-handling “green machines” which are funded by a $6.6 million grant from Governor Phil Murphy’s Administration. It’s all part of the Governor’s $100 million initiative to grow the green economy by creating new jobs while battling climate change by turning to clean energy alternatives and making New Jersey fully powered by clean energy by 2050.

“As we work determinedly to safeguard New Jersey against the impacts of climate change, we must electrify not just light-duty vehicles, but the medium- and heavy-duty tractors and equipment upon which our thriving logistics industry depends,” said Governor Murphy. “There is no better place to continue our efforts than at the South Jersey Port Corporation, which is contributing to our state’s national reputation as an offshore wind hub. Here in South Jersey, we’re proving that transitioning to clean energy both complements and catalyzes the growth of new industries and the generation of good-paying jobs.”

“Creating family-sustaining jobs is one of our prime objectives,” said SJPC Executive Director & CEO Andrew Saporito. “But, as Governor Murphy warns us, there will be no jobs if we destroy our planet and communities in the process. Jobs are inextricably connected to how we protect our environment and shrink our carbon footprint to zero. We strive to be a better neighbor in the communities we serve by making our operations cleaner and greener while also building the green economy on initiatives such as offshore wind development.”

The governor is funding his “green machine” initiative by leveraging proceeds from the reentry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and money from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund. In addition, New Jersey and private corporations are investing a billion dollars to build port facilities and infrastructure to make New Jersey the epicenter of the job-rich $100 Billion offshore wind energy industry.

“This is another important step in the Murphy Administration’s commitment to improve air quality in communities overburdened by air pollution and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles that fuel climate change across New Jersey,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette said.

With this $6.6 million investment, SJPC will replace twenty-seven pieces of older gasoline and diesel forklifts and cargo handling equipment with new electric-powered units and associated charging stations. SJPC aims to systematically convert all of its energy-consuming assets to zero-carbon within the next decade as suitable replacement equipment becomes commercially available.

From steps as simple as planting trees in its host cities to updating warehouse lighting to LED to investing millions in improving direct ship to rail access, SJPC has been working aggressively to reduce its carbon footprint. Instead of retrofitting its vehicles – it can afford to convert its fleet from carbon fuels to electric.

SJPC has become the cornerstone of New Jersey’s growing Green Energy Economy. Its unparalleled location combined with available land and warehouse space and an integrated network of highway, rail, and marine facilities provide the infrastructure to support offshore wind energy investments along the Atlantic Coast. It’s Paulsboro Marine Terminal (PMT) has already emerged as the prime manufacturing site for components of offshore wind turbines.