Library from New Jersey
In November, municipal officials tabled the introduction of a windmill-related ordinance after a member of the Sourland Mountain Planning Council voiced concerns about the impact of the windmills on some endangered species and plants in the region. While Steve Bales, also a township resident, is a proponent of renewable energy, he asked Township Committee members to amend the language of the ordinance to reflect better ways to preserve the Sourland Mountain region. Council members did just that and introduced a new version of the ordinance Tuesday. The measure is up for public review and a possible vote Dec. 26. ..."I do have a concern over the setback," said Laura Burshnic, a township resident. "I think 180 feet is just a little too close. I wouldn't want to look out my window and see that. It would be an eyesore." The Township Committee then changed the ordinance to reflect a windmill having a 250-foot setback from property lines, easements or utility lines.
A large swath off the New Jersey coast will be studied beginning in January to assess wildlife density where offshore windmill farms may be built as an alternative energy source, the state Department of Environmental Protection said Friday. The 18-month survey will focus on the 70 or so miles of coast between Seaside Park in Ocean County and Stone Harbor in Cape May County and extend as far as 20 nautical miles, or 23 miles, offshore. ...Although the study stems from a recommendation from a May 2006 report from the state's blue ribbon panel on developing wind energy farms in New Jersey, Jeff Tittel, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, said the research is unnecessary and just delays the construction.
Companies attempt to stand out from the competition based on three factors -- quality, speed and price, Stanton said. "We give you a fourth one." ...The company was one of the first businesses in New Jersey to commit to purchasing energy from the new wind farm in Atlantic City.
The state Board of Public Utilities is ready to commit up to $1.9 million now and $19 million over time to entice private companies to study and prepare grant applications for a wind turbine project off the Jersey coast. ...But the environmental impact and economic questions about offshore wind farms have not been answered. The impact on fishing, wildlife and shipping is important to the state. So is the cost of locating, maintaining and operating such a project. Until it has those answers, the state is "putting the cart before the horse," as Tim Dillingham of the American Littoral Society said after learning of the BPU's solicitation.
About 70 windmills will sprout in the ocean off the Jersey Shore, producing enough energy to power some 125,000 homes. The Board of Public Utilities on Wednesday gave its OK to a pilot project to erect the windmills between three to 20 miles off the state's shores.
New Jersey is offering up to $19 million to help support a potential wind turbine project off the coast, and at least one company is interested. ..."This was very exciting news to Bluewater Wind," which expects to submit a proposal, said James S. Lanard, head of strategic planning and communications for the Hoboken-based company.
If you're expecting the mainstream media to tell you the truth about wind power, I will be happy to come by and read some fairy tales to you. Wind farms are one of those trendy, environmental fairy tales about "alternative" energy sources that will save us all from burning coal to provide electricity because, according the Great Big Book of Environmentally Bad Things, it's "a fossil fuel" and it "pollutes."
In the absence of a state energy master plan defining how much real energy Corzine believes will come from offshore wind, a hard look at it in relation to overall energy demand and the ability to replace fossil fuel sources or address global climate change is needed. Offshore wind farms are not the answer to our energy problems. Industrial wind farms are expensive and inefficient: They cost hundreds of millions of dollars (much of it public money) and need thousands of turbines to produce relatively small amounts of electricity in relation to New Jersey's overall demand. Even then, they will have only a minimal impact on emissions that contribute to global cli mate change, and won't affect sea level rise at the Jersey Shore. A realistic look at the environmental benefits of expensive offshore wind facilities leads one to conclude that we should invest scarce public resources in more effective means of reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions -- which is absolutely necessary in the face of global warming and its effects on New Jersey.
Wake up, New Jersey, before more of your tax dollars are wasted on Gov. Corzine's offshore wind farm. ...In these hard financial times, our state and federal governments need to invest taxpayer dollars more wisely than they have. Alternative energy sources are needed, but they must make financial sense. Windmills on land are borderline cost-effective, and that's only because of energy subsidies. Windmills in the north Atlantic never will come close to recovering their cost. If something doesn't make financial sense, we should be looking at who will benefit from its construction. New Jersey citizens will not benefit from this ocean wind farm. Electric costs will rise because of it. Someone needs to follow the money to see who will benefit.
Here in New Jersey, the administration is conducting a series of studies on the feasibility and the environmental and economic impacts "to push for ward with an offshore wind project," according to a spokesman for Gov. Jon Corzine. The governor's energy policy calls for 20 percent of the state's electricity to be wind- or solar- generated by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050. ...But we encourage Gov. Corzine to take a cautious approach and make sure that the environmental and economic questions are answered before we allow the giant windmills to sprout up along our coast.
Environmentalists are divided over whether "wind farms" are an Earth-friendly source of power. Timothy P. Dillingham, director of the New Jersey chapter of the American Littoral Society, is a member of the blue-ribbon panel that studied the issue. He and his organization oppose the idea..."We are talking about building an industrial facility out in the ocean," he said. "There is no framework, no set of regulations to ensure public protection. People think there is money to be made. People think there is some answer to global warming here. Caution is being thrown to the wind, so to speak."
Legislators in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic passed a number of bills applying to the electric power industry, with several states committing to emissions reductions through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and other states making broad organizational changes to their regulatory processes.
WASHINGTON - The House rejected a resolution Wednesday that would block government plans to spur construction of major new power lines in many states regardless of local opposition. The issue has been contentious in parts of the East Coast and in the Southwest, where two high priority transmission corridors for power lines were proposed. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., warned colleagues that unwanted power lines could come to their district.
Hoboken-based Bluewater Wind, which wants to build a wind turbine park off Delaware's Atlantic coast, is interested in building a pilot project off New Jersey, according to a company official. Meanwhile, New Jersey is seeking proposals for offshore ecological studies - from Seaside Park to Stone Harbor - that would be completed by Sept. 30, 2009, at a cost of up to $4.5 million.
Bluewater Wind would like to put wind turbines at least 6 nautical miles, or nearly 7 regular miles, offshore for two reasons, a company official says. "All our ornithologists and . . . all the avian experts tell us" that nearly all migratory bird flyways are much closer to land, and the issue of whether wind turbines can be seen is "almost a nonissue because it's so far out," said Jim Lanard, director of strategic planning and communications. But David Mizrahi, an avian ecologist and vice president of research for the New Jersey Audubon Society, said, "I'd be a lot more cautious about (the bird issue) than he is."
An innovative designer is working on plans to add some kind of crazy wind turbine energy generator into the barriers between highways. The breeze from the passing cars would then generate a bunch of electricity, actually turning the congested, miserable stretch of road into something that, if not environmentally friendly, is at least a bit less of a kick in the pants to mother nature.
A federal proposal to make New Jersey part of a special corridor for new electric power lines is cause for alarm, a state environmental group contends. "This designation would give utilities the right to use eminent domain to acquire private property to build their lines," said Jeff Tittel, head of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club. It would also encourage the production and transmission of electricity from coal-fired plants at a time when the state is trying to promote clean and renewable energy, Tittle warned.
he United States Department of Energy issued a proposal yesterday that could reopen the way for a 190-mile high-voltage transmission line through central New York that state and local officials tried to block last year. The department declared a multistate area from West Virginia to upstate New York a "National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor," where congestion of existing power lines makes the electricity grid unreliable and subject to blackouts.
According to Friday's Nuclear Market Review (NMR), many market participants were left stunned by the recent record jump in the weekly spot uranium price. The market has increasingly diverged between those who have U3O8 and those without. Utilities with existing supply contracts "are heaving a sigh of relief," NMR editor Treva Klingbiel wrote. And those trying to find uranium in today's climate "are forced to face the reality of a seller's market," she said.
Offshore wind facilities are expected to have negligible to minor environmental impacts in general - "if the proper siting and mitigation measures are followed," a draft study says. But some activists faulted the draft environmental impact statement by the federal Minerals Management Service. The document covers technologies for tapping offshore wind, wave and current energy. The agency jumped to conclusions about the risks without having adequate information, said Eric Stiles, vice president for conservation and stewardship in the New Jersey Audubon Society. "It's grossly premature to conclude," for example, that impacts on birds will be only moderate, Stiles said.