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Occidental flopped on N.J. wind project; Ocean lease competitor still a mystery

According to bureau rules, the presence of two companies seeking to lease the same ocean blocks triggers a review. If Occidental is found to be a credible bidder, the bureau would open a time-consuming competitive auction process, which could signal a further delay for the Bluewater project.

A little-known company proposing a wind farm off the Delaware coast was ripped by New Jersey state officials for gaps in its application to build a project there in 2008.

Occidental Development & Equities LLC filed an indication of interest last month with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement to build a renewable-energy project on the ocean waters off the Delaware coast. In doing so, it's challenging NRG Bluewater Wind by seeking some of the same ocean blocks for Occidental's proposed smaller project.

According to bureau rules, the presence of two companies seeking to lease the same ocean blocks triggers a review. If Occidental is found to be a credible bidder, the bureau would open a time-consuming competitive auction process, which could signal a further delay for the Bluewater project.

Occidental was one of five companies that sought a grant from the State of New Jersey two years ago to build a wind farm off that state's coast. A committee evaluated the applications, and chose three winners, including Bluewater. Occidental was not one of them.

"The Occidental proposal had multiple and substantial technical and financial weaknesses that the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A little-known company proposing a wind farm off the Delaware coast was ripped by New Jersey state officials for gaps in its application to build a project there in 2008.

Occidental Development & Equities LLC filed an indication of interest last month with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement to build a renewable-energy project on the ocean waters off the Delaware coast. In doing so, it's challenging NRG Bluewater Wind by seeking some of the same ocean blocks for Occidental's proposed smaller project.

According to bureau rules, the presence of two companies seeking to lease the same ocean blocks triggers a review. If Occidental is found to be a credible bidder, the bureau would open a time-consuming competitive auction process, which could signal a further delay for the Bluewater project.

Occidental was one of five companies that sought a grant from the State of New Jersey two years ago to build a wind farm off that state's coast. A committee evaluated the applications, and chose three winners, including Bluewater. Occidental was not one of them.

"The Occidental proposal had multiple and substantial technical and financial weaknesses that the Committee felt would make the project unfeasible," the committee reported. It criticized Occidental for lacking "development, construction, operation and maintenance or decommissioning cost details."
Occidental's 55-page March 2008 New Jersey application, released to The News Journal on Friday by the Board of Public Utilities, expends significant space explaining the basics of wind technology, the electrical grid and the renewable- energy market.

Much information about Occidental's 160-megawatt "NJ Aero 1 Wind Farm" was redacted from public view.

"Occidental Development is a new Company and is in the early stages of developing a 180 MW project in Dominican Republic, and looking at others in the US, Brazil and Peru," the application reads.

The application presents an ambitious construction start date of May 30, 2008, and completion on December 30, 2009 -- winter at sea.

The timeline apparently does not take into account a lengthy federal permitting process, which was not in place at the time.

The cover page of Occidental's application lists a mailing address of a suite on Oak Street in Bayonne, N.J. The City of Bayonne assessor's office reported on Friday that the address was residential.

Despite an extensive search on Thursday and Friday, Occidental official Miguel I. Payano could not be located for comment.

NRG Bluewater officials said they didn't know much about Occidental.
"I'm not talking about any delays at all," said NRG spokesman Dave Gaier. "Our proposal's in, and we want it to be evaluated on its merit. And we think it's meritorious."

Collin O'Mara, Delaware natural resources secretary, said: "Our goal is to have the first or one of the first projects in federal waters in the country. As of right now, we don't see this being an impediment to that."


Source: http://www.delawareonline.c...

JUL 10 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/27152-occidental-flopped-on-n-j-wind-project-ocean-lease-competitor-still-a-mystery
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