PALM SPRINGS, CA - MAY 13: Giant wind turbines are powered by strong prevailing winds on May 13, 2008 near Palm Springs, California. There are plans to build a wind farm off the southern coast of New Jersey. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Three companies instead of one are moving ahead with plans to build wind farms off the south Jersey coast.
The state's Board of Public Utilities has approved a $12 million rebate program.
The companies will receive $4 million if they construct towersoffshore to gather weather information by the end of next year for
wind farms that generate at least 200 megawatts of energy.
The state in October picked Garden State Offshore Energy to explore building what could be the nation's first offshore wind farm.
But Gov. Jon S. Corzine now wants to generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind power by 2012. That would triple by 2020.
So Bluewater Wind and Fishermen's Energy became eligible for the exploratory funding.