Articles filed under Energy Policy from New Jersey
Gov. Jon S. Corzine wants New Jersey to become the offshore wind power capital of the U.S., but an array of financial, environmental and other hurdles lies in his path. ...Several environmental activists say Corzine's 2012 target may be unrealistic.
The industrialization of the ocean, coastal overdevelopment, contaminated sites and global warming will be among the top environmental issues in the Garden State next year, observers said. "What we're seeing is a gold rush toward energy development in the ocean," said Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society, a Sandy Hook-based coastal conservation coalition. "We gotta take better care of the coast," he said.
The two most popular projects in New Jersey - solar panel installations and more recently, wind farms - are expensive even with government incentives, some of which are being pulled back. ...Executives at Garden State Offshore Wind said they would probably have a hard time securing the $1.1 billion needed to build New Jersey's first 96 wind turbines. Environmental studies and regulatory hurdles will push off a huge capital expenditure by 18 months, company executives said.
How do the winds blow off the Jersey Shore? The state may offer up to $12 million in rebates for companies to find out, using offshore weather stations. Activists who want more environmental studies questioned whether that's the best way to spend the taxpayers' money, but a wind company spokeswoman supported the rebate idea.
Lance Miller, chief of policy and planning at the state Board of Public Utilities, which is steering the energy plan's implementation, agrees that the scope and scale of some of its objectives are unprecedented. Principally, these are the massive scale of energy audits planned for buildings, finding ways to finance the improvements needed in those buildings to cut energy use and getting utilities to buy into a plan where there is less demand for their power. "New Jersey is the first to do [energy audits] on such a big scale," Miller said of the inspection plan, which will cover 3.7 million buildings, of which 3.2 million are residential. At an average annual clip of 300,000 building inspections, Miller estimates the task would run through 2020.
Instead of messing with farms, let's put solar and wind energy facilities where they belong. ...This legislation tries to satisfy one societal need - clean energy - by compromising another - preserved farmland. Perhaps it's easier to place clean power generation facilities on open land than retrofit other sites, but this tendency to look to greenfields to satisfy new development needs is precisely the kind of practice that has brought so much sprawl to New Jersey.
New Jersey is one step closer to bringing an offshore wind farm to the coasts of the U.S. Garden State Offshore Energy (GSOE), a joint venture between utility Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) Renewable Generation and Deepwater Wind, was selected by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities today to build an offshore wind farm far off the Jersey coastline. The proposed 350-megawatt wind farm would consist of 96 turbines nearly 20 miles offshore. GSOE will receive a $4 million state grant to help cover permitting costs and spur project financing though the final project, to be completed by 2012, will likely cost well over $1 billion, according to the state.
When then-Gov. Richard Codey signed an executive order paving the way for New Jersey's first offshore wind farm in 2005, he didn't imagine it would take so long to get turbines spinning off the coast. The Board of Public Utilities now estimates the earliest date for the pilot project to be generating electricity from windmills off Atlantic City is late in 2012. ...Lance Miller, chief of policy and planning for the BPU, said projects of this magnitude take time. He defended the BPU's diligence in selecting the best proposal.
A state panel evaluating proposals for an offshore wind turbine pilot project will have until Oct. 2 instead of Aug. 20 to make a recommendation to the state Board of Public Utilities. The panel needs more time to evaluate five companies' proposals, some of which are "large, extensive," Doyal H. Siddell, a BPU spokesman, said Thursday. But the six-week delay did not sit well with two observers.
Meanwhile, three companies have proposed building liquefied natural gas facilities miles off the Jersey Shore. Excalibur Energy (USA) Inc. wants to construct a deep-water pipeline system for natural gas about 15 miles off Asbury Park. Atlantic Sea Island Group wants to build an island for an LNG facility 19 miles from Sea Bright, while ExxonMobil has plans for a floating LNG terminal about 20 miles from Manasquan. In addition, five companies are competing for up to $19 million in state funding to build a potential wind turbine project in an area from Seaside Park to Stone Harbor that is up to 23 miles offshore. State officials are evaluating whether offshore LNG facilities and wind turbines will be part of New Jersey's overall energy plan, Corzine said. ...But when it comes to offshore wind, "the cart is put well before the horse" because environmental studies have not been done and federal rules have yet to be approved, said Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action.
New Jersey lawmakers are contemplating a bill that defines solar and wind energy generation as agricultural activity. The measure aims to promote alternative energy sources, but has been criticized as a possible danger to farmland preservation efforts. The bill would allow the owners of preserved farmland to construct, operate and install solar or wind energy facilities or equipment on their farms. The generated power could be used to operate the farm or be sold to a utility company. The law also would protect solar and wind power generation on farms from nuisance complaints from neighbors, similar to protections farmers have from complaints about the smell of manure, for instance.
File this one under if you can't beat ‘em, join ‘em. A group of commercial fishermen wants to get in on the rush to build offshore wind farms to generate electricity. It's an interesting about face for the fishing industry, which has traditionally fought offshore industrialization - other than their own floating seafood factories, that is. ...The effort is attracting attention in New Jersey, where the state is looking to provide grants for a pilot offshore wind farm. ... Meanwhile, if Trenton doesn't take the bait, perhaps Providence will. Last Friday, Fishermen's Energy filed one of seven proposals to build a windfarm off the coast of Rhode Island.
Governor Corzine's energy master plan for New Jersey calls for a reduction of 20 percent in energy consumption by 2020. It also proposes that by that same year, just 12 years hence, 22.5 percent of the state's electricity should come from renewable sources, chiefly wind and solar, up from 2 percent now. Further, New Jersey emissions of greenhouse gases should be reduced by 20 percent. These goals are remarkable. Energy use has been growing steadily. Nearly half the state's power plants are 30 years old or older. Some will have to be replaced, sooner or later. ...Some interesting things are happening, but as for the 2020 goals set by Corzine, he, and we, had better not get our hopes up.
By 2020, solar panels could be commonplace in New Jersey, wind turbines should be spinning offshore, and new nuclear cooling towers might rise in Salem County. That is the vision contained in the first draft of a state Energy Master Plan offered yesterday by Gov. Corzine. New Jersey also should be using about 20 percent less electricity by then, even though demand is currently growing more than 1.5 percent per year, the plan concludes. ..."One of the most important things in this plan is the recognition that even if all the efficiency, conservation and renewable-energy programs are a success, there will still be a . . . shortfall in the amount of energy necessary," said Steven Goldenberg, a Fox Rothschild L.L.P. lawyer who represents the New Jersey Large Energy Users Coalition. That group includes 25 of the state's biggest energy consumers.
The Corzine administration unveiled its long-awaited energy master plan yesterday, a blueprint that calls for dramatic changes in the state's energy policies but concludes there is no silver bullet to ensure the state maintains a reliable and affordable source of electric power. It calls for more wind farms and a more aggressive effort to install solar panels on homes, businesses and government buildings. It recommends sharply curbing energy consumption through a variety of means, from putting up buildings that use less energy to installing so-called smart meters to help residents better manage energy use and cut their bills. And it suggests another nuclear power plant ought to be seriously considered. What it does not promise is to rein in runaway electric rates.
In an attempt to help meet Gov. Jon Corzine's targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state, several developers submitted proposals last week to construct offshore wind farms. If a proposal is accepted, it would be the first offshore wind farm in the United States ...Given that the projected cost of a proposal could reach $1.4 billion, there is a concern as to who will pay for the construction of the wind farm. The developer will outlay the cost. If the project is not subsidized, the high original cost would most likely be passed along to the energy consumer.
New Jersey's largest power supplier is competing with Bluewater Wind and a group of commercial fishing companies for the right to build a wind farm off the coast of the Garden State. PSEG announced this week that its renewable generation division, and a partner company, Winergy Power Holdings, has bid to build a 96-turbine wind farm off the coast of Cape May and Atlantic counties. The company said it would be 16 miles offshore. ...The results of the bidding competition could have implications for the proposed wind farm off the Delaware coast. Bluewater proposed building a regional hub for offshore wind turbine construction in Delaware, but if a different company wins the New Jersey bidding, the hub may lose out on that business.
The proposals, which envision the construction of up to 116 wind turbines rising hundreds of feet above the water, would help the Corzine administration reach ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gases, while shifting electricity production to cleaner sources of energy, such as wind and solar power. It is a big bet. With project costs running upwards of $1 billion, the projects need to overcome numerous environmental and economic hurdles at a time when the commercial feasibility of wind power remains a question, industry analysts said. There are no off-shore wind farms operating in the United States, and several projects, including one off Jones Beach in Long Island, have been canceled because of high costs.
Charting the state's energy future is proving to be more difficult than anticipated. The Corzine administration is delaying the release of the first energy master plan in more than a decade because of an intensifying debate over whether New Jersey needs additional power plants to address surging demand for electricity. ...Some members of the business community are concerned the state will rely too heavily on conser vation and alternative energy sources to address rising demand for power. "If we don't deal with the supply issues, then the prices are going to go up," said Hal Bozarth, executive director of the Chemistry Council of New Jersey.
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.