Library from New Jersey
How many years must a wind farm be planned before it is built in the sea? The answer for New Jersey projects is blowin' in the wind. Several companies have planned to build clusters of turbines spinning off the New Jersey coast, but some are making more headway than others.
In August, it was ruled that the authority needed site plan approval from the borough Planning Board before it could install and operate the wind turbine. Now, BRSA will be asking Union Beach to correct what Fischer has called a mapping error. The borough's zoning map places the BRSA property in a residential zone.
The Atlantic City project is facing steep hurdles to win approval ...The BPU's own consultant questioned the net economic benefits of the project. A consultant retained by the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel voiced similar concerns previously. At the heart of the issue is just how much state subsidies paid by electric customers are necessary to make the projects viable.
The logjam in New Jersey mirrors the situation up and down the Eastern Seaboard, as the future of federal price supports falls into doubt and the promise of clean, renewable power goes up against the high price tag of installing 400-foot-tall turbines 20 miles out to sea.
"They have 23,000 customers and claim they'll save $400,000 from the turbine," he said. "If you divide it, I'm going to save about $18 a year, but I'm going to lose about $50,000 value on my house. I'd rather just pay the bill if that's O.K."
In July 2012, the appellate court issued an injunction ordering the BRSA to stop construction and remove construction materials, including the 270-foot crane that would have been used to assemble the pieces of the turbine. The injunction came just days before the wind turbine components were set to be delivered.
"It is unlikely, given this delay, that the turbine will be delivered in the next two months. Therefore the continued rental of the crane is not justified," said BRSA executive director Robert C. Fischer.
The authority started construction, installing the turbine's foundation despite a warning from the state Department of Environmental Protection that it was proceeding at its own risk while the matter was in litigation.
After an injunction was granted to halt construction of the turbine in July, the Union Beach Planning Board has won their appeal against the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority.
The borough has stopped - at least for now - a wind turbine slated to be built at the regional sewerage plant here. Robert C. Fischer, Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority's executive director, called the latest news "disappointing."
Once the project gets financing lined up, it can move forward. That depends in part on a judgment by the Board of Public Utilities about whether the company can get offshore wind incentives it has applied for.
The New Jersey Superior Court of Appeals issued an injunction Wednesday on behalf of Union Beach, halting construction of the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority's wind turbine. ...Bill Heller, who lives about 1,900 feet from the turbine, is worried about the impact it will have on the identity of the community.
On Wednesday, July 18, Judge Mary Catherine Cuff of the New Jersey State Superior Court granted the Borough of Union Beach an injunction ordering the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority (BRSA) to refrain from shipping and assembling a 386-foot-tall industrial wind turbine into the borough until a decision could be reached in a still-pending appeals case.
The Union Beach Borough Council authorized a special counsel in late June to seek an injunction from the state Superior Court that would block the transport of the wind turbine, but so far no hearing date for the injuction has been set.
Several noise violations from the borough's two power-generating wind turbines has led the Borough Council to shut the systems down between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. during the week. ...Borough officials received correspondence dated March 30 from the Ocean County Health Department indicating that a noise recording demonstrated violations of the state administrative code.
Union Beach, where the energy-producing turbine will be located, has sought an injunction to stop the delivery of the turbine's parts starting around July 23, said Union Beach Mayor Paul J. Smith. A hearing date on the injunction has not been set yet.
Steve Gallo, executive director of the BMUA, said while the turbine itself was finished in January, the connection that would actually allow the turbine to supply the pumping station with power has not been completed.
Fishermen's Energy, the company likely closest to placing wind turbines off the coast of New Jersey, is seeking more time to file an amended application with state regulators following harsh criticism of its initial proposal by consultants.
As part of the agreement, the turbine will not have blades on it. Instead, a bladeless version, which is designed to be much quieter than ones with blades, will be installed. Burke is also looking to recoup between $250,000 and $300,000 in legal fees he claims he is owed.
"Net benefits of the project were not demonstrated because key underlying assumptions of applicants' cost-benefit analysis were not adequately substantiated." The applicants failed to address the possibility of a negative job impact caused by consumers paying above-market prices for power from the wind farms compared with electricity from conventional power plants.