NEW JERSEY - Salem County has been slated for a 200-acre off shore wind port, per the governor who announced the $500 million impact on the state's economy at today's COVID-19 press conference.

"This is a big deal," Governor Phil Murphy said. 

"This is a once in a generation opportunity," said Tim Sullivan, CEO of the Economic Development Authority. "This is a central part of how we bounce back."

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For a $300 million to $400 million investment, Sullivan said the facility will be the first of its kind in the U.S., and added, "This is not particularly close to anyone's house."

The project and long term operation will yield 1,500 permanent jobs and "hundreds" of construction jobs in 2021, he said, as well as producing $500 million in new annual economic activity.

"We think this is the best situated site in North America for off shore wind sites," he said.

Murphy coupled the announcement with a report on the continued flattening of the curve with news of a .69 or less than one per person transmission rate, down from more than five per positive person in March.

"We're driving this virus into the ground," Murphy said.

Hearing calls to open faster and other calls to open slower, Murphy said the rate the state is opening is probably "just about right."

"We are going to get more positives," he said. "But driving the rate of infection meaningfully below one is important."

Dr. Edward Lifshitz, Medical Director of the NJ Department of Health, said he understands the impact of each person lost but notes there are lives that have been saved.

"There are people who have recovered who are going about their lives," Dr. Lifshitz said. "And that's because of what NJ has done."

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