Articles from New Jersey
The Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority's project to erect an energy-producing wind turbine, already a three-year effort, has suffered another setback. By an 8-0 vote, the Planning Board rejected the authority's application to redraw its property lines to include a roughly half-acre tract purchased from Jersey Central Power & Light Co., land the agency acquired for the wind turbine.
New Jersey's Division of Rate Counsel estimates that building 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind capability could cost $5.6 billion over the next 20 years and cost average ratepayers $5 to $8 surcharges on their monthly bills.
TRENTON - New Jersey is leading other East Coast states with its plans for offshore wind energy, but the federal government still needs to expedite its permitting process for those projects to move forward, said members of a new national pro-wind power coalition.
When state Sen. Sean Kean saw the fierce opposition a proposed wind turbine stirred in his shore-area district, he came up with a solution: Bar the construction of industrial electricity-generating windmills within 2,000 feet of any residentially zoned land. But in the most densely populated state in the nation, environmentalists say it's a case of "not in my back yard" gone wild.
The Planning Board will hold a second meeting on Dec. 8 to consider the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority's application to purchase a tract of land adjacent to its facility so the three rotating blades of its $7.7 million wind turbine rotate over BRSA property, officials said.
Officials from the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority (BRSA) submitted an application to the Union Beach Planning Board seeking a variance to consolidate two lots owned by Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) that abut the sewerage plant's property in the borough to provide clearance for the turbine, which is expected to be completed by January.
The project has been controversial from the start. Residents of Sea Girt have noted that the noise pollution and flicker effect could negatively affect property values, while environmental supporters cite negative affects on local wildlife.
Is the wind turbine fight about to get a second breath? Residents of this Bayshore town get another opportunity tonight to voice their opposition to the 380-foot energy producing wind turbine being built by the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority.
The council would not have wasted $250,000 of taxpayers' money to save $1,629. The only reason the council approved the project was because of the claim of an 80 percent savings presented by Kennedy and Fry. Was their data false on purpose, to justify the windmill, or false by accident?
In March, Brennan filed a complaint asking The Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards to consider questions about Rumana's role as an elected official and WEC chairman. Brennan complained there was a "series of conflicts" in Rumana's multiple roles.
Rible said there are enough questions about the safety of siting turbines close to homes to merit caution. "As a state legislator, I can't sign off until I know for sure it won't affect people in the area," he said. Rible and Angelini also co-sponsored a resolution specifically opposing the National Guard Training Center project.
with a smart statewide plan." The senator said that while he voted for legislation to offer millions in tax breaks to encourage building wind farms off the Jersey Shore, "I don't think we should be putting these (turbines) right in the middle of residential developments.
Residents of Sea Girt and Manasquan have loudly opposed the DMAVA's plans to build a federally funded 325-foot turbine at its National Guard Training Center, a state-owned parcel of land that lies between the two boroughs. Kean said the Office of Legislative Services in Trenton is researching laws in California, Illinois and Europe regarding turbine setback requirements.
Even if investors are convinced the ORECs are sufficient, there also are risks to developers when setting their prices. If set too high, no will buy the certificates, said Jeff Tittel, executive director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. If set too low, the project will fail on its economics, he said.
"After listening to both sides of the debate, I have come to the conclusion that wind turbines should not be built near residential neighborhoods," said Senator Kean. "I am drafting legislation that will increase their minimum setback." Residents of Sea Girt have noted that the negatives of having wind turbines near residential homes outweigh the potential benefits.
The take-home point from this and other windmill controversies is that windmills are not the magical power source they're touted to be. They should not be built near where people live.
Despite the construction, residents from the neighborhood and surrounding communities are calling for the construction to halt, as well as for more study about the effects on wildlife, human health and property values. As of Sept. 20, Union Beach residents Bart and Susan Sutton over a two-week period had collected 300 signatures of people opposed to the erection of the turbine.
While work has already begun on the turbine, specifically land excavation for the foundation of the structure, residents from several communities have raised concerns that the structure could pose significant health and public safety risks. The turbine will stand 380 feet tall once placed on a 262-foot-tall concrete pedestal.
Though he's publicly embraced energy-producing windmill farms, Gov. Chris Christie has literally drawn a line in the sand restricting them from being built on certain sections of New Jersey's coastline. ..."We have to recognize that there are some areas that are particularly sensitive," said Ruth Ehinger, manager of the state coastal management and watershed restoration unit.
The latest citizens' protest has been spearheaded by Union Beach residents Bart and Susan Sutton, who are seeking signatures on a form letter to Gov. Chris Christie, asking him to hold up turbine construction. Bart Sutton said he mails about 20 to 40 of those signed letters to governor's office each week.