Library from New Jersey
This was a great year for golden eagles, with a record 50 of them seen at NJ Audubon’s Cape May Hawkwatch, mostly last month. Or at least it was a great year until Dec. 6, when the U.S. government announced it would allow wind farms and other projects to kill federally protected eagles for the next 30 years.
The Legislature is trying to jumpstart offshore wind farms, a move spurred by frustration with the Christie administration’s failure to adopt regulations to make it happen in New Jersey. A bill (A-4538) introduced last Thursday by the deputy speaker of the Assembly John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester) proposes to have offshore wind projects financed by the state’s four electric utilities, which would recover the money from consumers -- and then some.
Economics, however, seemed to be the biggest factor in the state agency’s opposition. Fishermen’s Energy project relies on lucrative federal tax credits to make the project viable from a business and ratepayer perspective, but those incentives expire at the end of this year, unless renewed by Congress, and that appears to be a long-shot prospect, at best. “Most importantly, FACW has failed to credibly demonstrate that it will actually receive, at this late date, all of the federal subsidies,’’ the staff said in its brief.
Atlantic Grid Development LLC, the company planning an undersea power-transmission line backed by Google Inc. (GOOG), is shifting its goal to moving electricity across New Jersey instead of connecting offshore wind farms.
A subsidiary of gas utility owner New Jersey Resources will spend $22 million to acquire and build a wind farm in Montana, its first onshore wind project, the company said Wednesday.
Gerald Lechliter, a retired Army colonel, sought the restraining order in a broader Chancery Court lawsuit. He filed the suit last year challenging construction of the wind turbine on land that had been set aside for open space and the process in which it was approved and funded.
Ratepayers already have coughed up $388 million in rebates and other financial incentives for the clean energy program to promote solar panels, wind projects, and other renewable energy initiatives during the first years of the program, ...but that amount does not include what customers have shelled out since the state largely switched to a more market-based program.
The clock is quietly winding down on Fishermen’s Energy offshore wind project, a proposal its backers say could propel New Jersey into becoming a hub for offshore wind farms, and potentially create hundreds, if not thousands of new manufacturing jobs in the state. The 25-megawatt pilot, located 2.8 miles off Atlantic City, is the first to come under review by state regulators, but its prospects of moving forward are looking bleaker by the week, if not by the day.
For the second time in two months, the federal government is auctioning leases to build offshore wind farms along the Eastern Seaboard -- once again without including New Jersey. The latest auction involved 112,800 acres approximately 25 miles off the Virginia coast.
Loved by the green movement, solar panels pose a growing threat to firefighters, who may suffer electrical shocks from panels that typically cannot be turned off, said John Drengenberg, consumer safety director for Underwriters Laboratories. Even when systems are equipped with shutoffs, any light can keep panels and their wires energized.
According to the BPU filing, the developer's initial June 2011 project application materially changed after Fisherman's notified the agency it was switching turbine suppliers several times. Originally, the BPU says the developer was considering three possible turbine manufacturers: Siemens, GE and China-based XEMC New Energy.
The Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority (BRSA) will likely make a decision on whether to proceed with its highly contested wind turbine project by the end of the summer, according to BRSA Executive Director Robert Fischer.
BPU commissioners expressed questions about the financial integrity of the project. They particularly opposed a provision in the settlement to saddle ratepayers with another $19.2 million in costs, above and beyond what they will pay for the electricity produced by the wind farm, if the projected federal incentives fall short of expectations.
Google plans to corner the wind energy market in New Jersey. It's a first-of-its kind venture that could cost Google and its partners $1.3 billion, but one Google believes fits its core mission: You can make money without doing evil.
Part of the idea was to link wind farms planned from Boston to Virginia so each could offset dips in power generation by the others and make the power supply more reliable. ...At the time, NRG Energy still planned a wind farm off of Delaware and interest in a similar outpost off of Ocean City, Md., was growing. Since then, however, NRG Energy has shelved its Delaware plan and progress in Maryland has dcragged on slowly.
Because the sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow, energy storage is viewed as key to promoting cleaner ways of producing electricity. Energy storage is still under development. Given the intermittent nature of solar and wind, it is viewed as crucial to making clean energy competitive with conventional technologies like natural gas and coal-fired plants.
A significant portion of the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority's multimillion dollar wind turbine was heavily damaged during superstorm Sandy, according to BRSA Executive Director Robert Fischer. The turbine's nacelle - which contains vital components such as the generator and gearbox - was likely lost during massive flooding at the Port of Newark on Oct. 29.
New Jersey is hoping to lure an offshore wind manufacturer to the state to help jump-start a green industry, but a lucrative incentive aimed at attracting the business is no longer available. ...to qualify, a company had to make its decision by the end of 2012. With a Chinese manufacturer offering to build a facility ...the bill is likely to move forward before the new fiscal year begins in June.
Stefanie Brand, director of the division, yesterday said the pilot project nearly three miles off Atlantic City, is still opposed by her office. "It's just too expensive,'' she said. ...The projected costs also have raised alarm among business groups, which have consistently pressed the Christie administration to find ways to lower energy bills in New Jersey
By the end of June, the state may decide if an offshore wind farm will be built about three miles from Atlantic City's beaches. In an order signed last Thursday, the New Jersey Board of Utilities established a procedural schedule, saying it expects to take action on the proposal by June 30 -- an application that has been pending before the regulatory agency since May 2011.