Articles from New Jersey
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.
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.
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.
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.
"The continuation of the proposed wind turbine will cause further division, additional loss of tranquility and create a significant impairment to bring local residents together at a time when partnerships, collaborations, relationships and a strong community for a generation or more is needed to rebuild Union Beach and the entire coastline of Raritan Bay."
Acadian, the Louisiana consultant the rate counsel hired, estimates the Fishermen's project would cost $282.2 million over 20 years, including operation and maintenance costs, and would generate only $74.2 million in revenue. It would require $208 million in subsidies from ratepayers.
The enviros are up against nothing less than a grassroots revolt against their entire alternative-energy strategy. They sold it as a painless way to power the world without carbon emissions. ...But now people are learning that to produce all that power, these things have to be huge - and they have to be in our backyards.
Fisherman's Energy is awaiting its last state approvals, from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, which has to decide whether the green benefits of offshore wind justify comparatively higher costs that could raise electric rates for consumers.
"I think wind energy is a good thing but they have to be very careful about ratepayer subsidy," said Stefanie Brand, executive director for the Rate Counsel, essentially the state's watchdog. "Unless we are going to get a greater benefit than it costs us, money wise and environmental benefit, we can't ask ratepayers to subsidize it." Fishermen's Energy, whose website says it will begin construction this year, is still trying to convince the BPU about those benefits.
The offshore high voltage cable project, called Atlantic Wind Connection, would link wind energy farms up and down New Jersey, connecting an estimated 3,000 megawatts of wind turbine electricity to power nearly 1 million households, according to the company website. The entire undertaking will take an estimated 10 years to complete.
"This used to be inundated with wildlife," Lourenco said. "There were deer, woodchuck, foxes ... " Soon, this will all be fenced off behind a chain-link wall. The natural area to be destroyed will total 45 acres. Who is responsible for this environmental disaster? You can blame this one on the tree-huggers themselves. All of this acreage will be sacrificed for so-called "green energy."
In her decision, Kilgallen said that the DEP permit - in conjunction with a state statute passed shortly after the Union Beach ordinance that forbids municipalities from imposing unreasonable restrictions on turbine projects - prevented the borough from applying its ordinance to the BRSA turbine.