Library from New Jersey
New Jersey's plan to spend $4.5 million to study birds and marine life offshore prior to a pilot project with up to 80 wind turbines has drawn mixed views from activists. "Our ocean deserves a robust, thorough, and scientifically valid study - not this bargain basement, blue-light special," according to a statement from Cynthia A. Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action, a Sandy Hook-based coalition. Birds should be studied for three years before construction of offshore wind farms, according to a 2006 letter from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official. The proposed New Jersey ecological study would last for 18 months. While an 18-month study is "not an end-point," it's "a major milestone for moving forward in making informed and appropriate decisions regarding siting of wind turbines," said Eric Stiles, vice president for conservation and stewardship in the New Jersey Audubon Society.
Steve Gallo, executive director of the Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority, said he is looking for innovative ways to save money for the city, and reduce the cost of his authority's energy needs. One of these ways, he said, is the possibility of installing modern windmills on BMUA controlled land to harness wind gusts off New York Bay to generate power for the Oak Street pump station. "We are trying to use new technology to find ways of saving our energy costs," Gallo said. "This is evident with the recent installation of solar panels in our schools that makes Bayonne the largest non-power company to supply energy on the east coast." Two years ago, the municipal authority in South Plainfield installed a wind-generated turbine to run a station, and with Bayonne surrounded on three sides, Gallo figures he might be able to do the same things. Windmills have also been successfully installed at Atlantic County Utility Authority, and combined with solar panels it generates enough energy to run the plant.
Edison Mission Group and a private Pennsylvania-based wind farm developer said they have agreed to develop up to 1,000 megawatts of mostly onshore wind energy throughout the U.S. mid-Atlantic. Edison Mission, which manages the power business of Edison International, made the agreement with US Wind Force LLC to develop wind farms over the next several years that would feed PJM power grid that includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia and parts of North Carolina.
New Jersey has yet to dedicate any money for environmental studies in advance of a test project with up to 80 wind turbines off the coast, according to a state official. Performing studies “upfront is absolutely critical to ensuring that . . . any project that’s considered is safe for the coast,” said Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society, a coastal conservation group based on Sandy Hook. “You can’t do one without the other,” said Dillingham, a member of a state blue-ribbon panel that recommended numerous studies last year.
American Transport Systems, of Vineland, told the Cumberland County Economic Development Board Dec. 12 that it has been exploring putting up to 150 wind energy turbines along the Delaware Bay.
Twenty percent of the electricity consumed in New Jersey by 2020 must come from renewable sources, such as wind and sun, up from 1 percent today, according to new regulations adopted unanimously Wednesday by the state’s Board of Public Utilities. “Increased use of renewable resources, specifically solar, will provide greater fuel diversity for New Jersey, while simultaneously reducing price volatility, strengthening the economy, improving public health and reducing greenhouse gases,” said Jeanne M. Fox, utilities board president. New Jersey Public Interest Research Group and the Sierra Club applauded the decision, but the state’s leading business and industry group warned that the rules will end up costing ratepayers more.
POWER BROKER A giant wind turbine looms over a coastal wastewater treatment plant in Atlantic City. The turbine is one of five that make up a pilot wind farm. All told, they can produce up to 8 megawatts. New Jersey’s energy consumption can top 17,000 megawatts at the summer peak.
Yet, despite the operation of New Jersey’s small wind project since January, there is uncertainty about whether wind farms, particularly gigantic turbines positioned off the region’s coastline, will be embraced here. On Long Island, a 40-turbine project being considered off the South Shore is facing stiff resistance from opponents who argue that the turbines will damage pristine ocean views, fail to deliver cost-effective electricity and create environmental problems. In New Jersey, powerful local politicians have lined up behind wind power, where up to 80 turbines — rising 380 feet or more above the water along the South Jersey coastline — have been proposed to take advantage of the near-constant breezes.
Anyone concerned about New Jersey’s energy consumption — or how he or she will be affected by the governor’s proposed energy diet — will have a chance to sound off Thursday at Atlantic Cape Community College. The college is hosting the last of four public meetings this week on Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s proposal to cut the state’s projected energy consumption by 20 percent and get more than 20 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020.
Shore-wide polling of residents and summer visitors showed Monmouth County beachgoers most inclined to accept offshore wind power turbines and almost half of Ocean County respondents in favor. Those interviewed in Atlantic County coastal communities were more resistant.
California's power shortage confirms that all of the hoopla over wind energy's credentials as a clean and renewable source of electricity is undercut by the reality of its unreliability. During an extremely hot week in August, when air conditioners were cranked up and the state was on the brink of rolling blackouts, how much help did the state get from its beloved 2,500 megawatts of wind power? Only 4 percent of its capacity, according to the California Independent System Operator, which is responsible for the state's electricity grid. Southern California Edison's 2,200 megawatts of wind capacity generated only 45 megawatts. In other words, wind energy works great — except when you need air conditioning.
More than 500 business and market leaders throughout the state met Tuesday to learn about the latest trends in renewable energy financing, energy-efficient technologies and market transformation at the Clean Energy Conference. The event was hosted by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and its Clean Energy Program.
A local lawmaker has asked the Corzine administration to build more than 100 windmills off Atlantic City's shore.
Weinstein said a county facility management representative will be meeting with the firm Switch LLC to discuss the possibility of bringing alternative forms of energy to the county. After the meeting the county and the company will be conducting a survey of area homes and businesses to see which forms of energy would best meet the county's needs. The meeting will take place in the upcoming weeks and the survey will follow that, according to Weinstein.
Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- New York, New Jersey and five other Northeast states set a goal of cutting power-plant carbon dioxide emissions by 10 percent over 10 years to help curb global warming.
Legitimate concerns about the administration of New Jersey's Clean Energy Program have been raised and must be addressed.
Less than a day after a long-suppressed audit of the state's Clean Energy Program was released by the state Treasury Department, a Senate Republican called for an independent investigation into possible wrongdoing at the state Board of Public Utilities.
The $850 million power line, which would be built by two companies, is intended to relieve power congestion in northern Virginia and get electricity to customers as far north as New Jersey, said officials with grid-operator PJM Interconnection.
No effective U.S. program to reduce the environmental harm done by conventional energy sources can be created without assigning a major role to nukes.
The goal, he said, is to make changes that will put New Jersey "ahead of the curve and make us more competitive in the future."