Library from New Jersey
Backers view the bill as a marker that will be eventually accepted by a new administration, once Christie’s term ends in January 2018 -- or sooner, if the governor decides to run for president and resigns his office. “We are talking about policy over the next 36 years.’’
While this newest development ends the legal battles between the borough and the sewerage authority for now, it remains unclear whether the authority, which has already spent nearly $6 million, will continue to pursue construction of the wind turbine. ...while the case was pending, the turbine was stored at a facility in Newark that was flooded during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. ...the turbine’s generator, its control panel and the blades were damaged.
BPU commissioners have said the “Offshore Renewable Energy Certificates” (ORECs) — which are required to recoup the millions of dollars investors would spend on the wind farm — may be costlier than projected. That would leave ratepayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars, the BPU contends.
The rules, allowing developers to earn Offshore Renewable Energy Credits (ORECs) for the electricity their wind turbines produce, were supposed to be in place by March 2011. ...BPU and offshore developers cannot agree on how the financing mechanism should be structured.
Components for the windmill delivered Thursday morning to the Wayne Auto Spa included a pole on which the turbine was to be mounted that didn't match manufacturer plans for the concrete-slab base.
“We were not involved in those conversations [about the lease areas] during the call period,” Dillingham said. “Stakeholders of all types, not simply industry or developers, [should be] included in these conversations about the decisions that are going to be made.
Union Beach will ask the state Supreme Court to review a lower court decision that restrains the borough from enforcing an ordinance regulating the construction of wind turbines.
New Jersey has been trying to extricate itself from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative since 2011, when Christie first suspended participation in the program. But his administration had to restart the separation process this year after the state Superior Court ruled that it had provided insufficient opportunity for public participation.
A proposal scheduled for publication Monday in the state register would repeal rules associated with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program New Jersey joined other states in implementing in late 2005. Christie announced in 2011 that he would withdraw the state from the program, which the Republican governor said had been ineffective.
The federal government has awarded $47 million to sweeten the deal for a $188 million project the Garden State has deemed too risky for ratepayers.
Despite receiving a harsh blow from New Jersey regulators in March, offshore wind developer Fishermen's Energy is showing more signs that it intends to keep pushing forward with its 25 MW Atlantic City demonstration project.
A New Jersey company is appealing the state's rejection of its plan to build a wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City. Fishermen's Energy filed an appeal Monday with the state Board of Public Utilities, saying the agency erred when it rejected the plan last month.
The company claimed those costs would amount to $199 per megawatt hour, but that rate was dependent on it receiving up to $100 million in federal subsidies. The BPU’s staff questioned that aid, part of which was based on a federal tax investment credit, which expired at the end of 2013. Without the subsidies, the cost of credits to consumers would balloon to $263 a megawatt hour. “It’s simply too high a price for ratepayers,’’ said BPU President Diane Solomon.
Fishermen's Energy, the Cape May firm that pushed for a wind farm off Atlantic City, says the state Board of Public Utilities used an incorrect calculation when it rejected the project. The board unanimously voted down the project Wednesday, citing concerns that it would increase utility costs for residents.
The BPU decided the project placed too much potential risk of soaring electric bills for ratepayers. They said the project depended on a mixture of subsidies and federal grants to make sure ratepayers didn't get stuck with sky-high bills.
The three-year effort by a coalition to build the country's first offshore wind farm in waters off Atlantic City appears dead in the water after the state Board of Public Utilities rejected the proposal today. The unanimous decision by the BPU followed a recommendation by its staff, which said the $188 million proposed project was not financially viable because it left ratepayers on the hook for too much money if expected federal grants did not materialize.
That tab, according to BPU staff, could be about $187 million if outside financing falls through. Staff members have argued in board documents that because federal grants are not certain, the project would pose technical and economic risks as proposed. A spokesman at the BPU said this does not mean staff members there oppose the project outright, as has been reported by other news outlets.
The state Board of Public Utilities is expected next Wednesday to vote on a proposal by Fishermen’s Energy, LLC to build a 25-megawatt wind farm about three miles off Atlantic City. Several sources told NJ Spotlight that the staff is currently recommending the commissioners kill the project, which has been pending before the agency for three years.
A state law prohibiting Union Beach from blocking the construction of a large wind turbine may have been illegal “special legislation” written with input by a lobbyist, according to an attorney for the borough. Stuart Lieberman, special counsel for Union Beach, appeared Feb. 12 in the Appellate Division of state Superior Court in Mount Holly, seeking to overturn an earlier trial court ruling in favor of the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority (BRSA), which is seeking to build a 380-foot turbine in the borough.
Beyond urging the federal government to delay its lease auction, the letter urges the administration and Legislature to force the BPU adopt the necessary regulations to move the process forward and select the developers who will receive ORECs. Unless that happens and federal lease process moves forward, the letter warns that New Jersey will have no say as to which developers receive leases for offshore wind farms off its coast.