Articles filed under General from 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.
Of the proposals under consideration, at least one would be off the coast of Ocean County, 18 miles from Long Beach Island. Although a study prepared for the BPU noted the impact of wind farms off the Jersey coast on the fishing and tourism industries would be temporary and relatively minimal, it indicated there was far greater sensitivity to the visual impact of wind farms in Ocean County than in Cape May and Atlantic counties. The BPU should take that into account. ...The projected loss of tourism revenue would drop off dramatically if wind farms were located 6 miles or more off the coast.
Offshore wind energy is coming, and the federal government has the New York region's coastal waters in its sights. WNYC's Ilya Marritz has more. ...Last week, Interior's Maureen Bornholdt came to speak to citizens in New Jersey. She told them to expect offshore windmills on their horizon, starting in about five years.
The issue of constructing these 500 kV power lines is being fought throughout the country. Debates and litigation are ongoing in Virginia, Pennsylvania, California, Florida and Canada. The issue relates to the fact that these transmission lines are of a size and strength few have seen. At the Montville meeting, PSE&G was unable to address the mayor's desire to drive within one to two hours and see these proposed 190-foot towers. I accept the fact that when I purchased my home three years ago it was near a current right of way, but the idea that towers can go from 85 feet up to 190 feet without any impact on my property value is ludicrous.
With the state's Board of Public Utilities holding off a decision on awarding an offshore windmill license early yesterday, three of the candidates for the project gathered to discuss how they would each approach the windmill project and address the public's concerns. The Wetlands Institute hosted a wind-power forum Thursday night, with much of the discussion focused on proposed offshore windmills that would appear anywhere from three to 20 miles off the coast of Atlantic and Cape May counties.
Envision a half-dozen towers for collecting data miles off the Jersey Shore in areas that could someday have dozens of wind turbines churning out emission-free power. By year's end, the U.S. Minerals Management Service hopes to give sea bottom leases to three companies that want to put six meteorological towers off New Jersey, officials said Wednesday. And the towers could be erected next spring, said Maureen A. Bornholdt, program manager in the mineral services' Office of Alternative Energy Programs in Herndon, Va. ...The sites are 16 miles off Long Beach Island and 17 miles off Ocean City, according to the minerals service.
But before you go all wacky for wind power, certain opposition groups like the Industrial Wind Action Group and National Wind Watch want you to hear their side of the story. Their claims are more than just not-in-my-backyard, wet-blanket-complaints. They believe the wind energy industry is spinning lies along with the turbines, luring large public subsidies for a system that is, at best, secondary to fossil fuels.
At least two groups want to build wind turbines off the Atlantic City coast to provide an alternative source of energy and become the first offshore wind farm in the United States. Bluewater Wind wants to erect 116 wind turbines about 15 miles off the Atlantic City coast, and approached the Atlantic County Board of Freeholders last month to pitch their project. Also in the running is a group headed by commercial fishermen calling itself Fishermen's Energy of New Jersey, which would have 74 turbines. Atlantic City Mayor Scott Evans endorsed the concept on Tuesday.
A surcharge on electric bills in Delaware and surrounding states that was designed to increase generating capacity hasn't delivered on its promise, four states are arguing in a complaint filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The states of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania filed the complaint late Friday, together with a coalition of electricity buyers and consumer advocates. They say the surcharge will overcharge electricity consumers in the 13-state territory in the PJM Interconnection grid by $12 billion between 2008 and 2011. As a share of that, Delmarva Power ratepayers in Delaware will overpay by about $125 million in "unjust and unreasonable" rates, the states claim.
The idea of wind turbines rising up to 500 feet above the Atlantic within sight of New Jersey's beaches is already drawing opposition from some environmentalists and tourism advocates. "It's troubling they are planning to put a huge number of turbines out in the ocean in the absence of environmental assessments of what the impact will be," said Tim Dillingham, executive director of the American Littoral Society, one of the oldest marine preservation groups in the state. "There also are some very hard questions about whether they are economical and what is the impact on ratepayers." Economics have proved to be the biggest hurdle to developing offshore wind farms. ...Even on land, wind farms can't generate electricity as cheaply as most conventional power sources. ...Public Service Enterprise Group, a Newark-based energy company that owns the state's largest utility, submitted one of the five proposals to build a wind farm off Atlantic County. The estimated project cost: $1 billion, nearly twice what it costs to build a conventional power plant that can generate even more electricity.
A Japanese firm and a Bayonne company are two additional groups that state utility regulators would look toward when they select a proposal for building a giant wind farm off Atlantic and Cape May counties. The groups' proposals are among five that the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities received early last week. At that time, the BPU had not confirmed any of the submissions, and only three of them - one by power supplier Public Service Enterprise Group, another by a Cape May County fishing consortium and a third by a Hoboken firm - were publicly known. Meanwhile, a committee to evaluate all five bids could be identified at the BPU's meeting Wednesday.
Township Committee officials unanimously approved an ordinance Wednesday that will allow the use of windmills to generate renewable power in environmentally safe ways in specific regions of the township. ...The minimum 10-acre lot size prevents the windmills from being built in residential neighborhoods, said Committeeman Paul Drake, who initiated the plan. However, the 10-acre minimum, which drew opposition by some residents during Wednesday's public hearing, is a "bulk standard" that the Planning Board can consider allowing a variance for smaller lots if it makes sense, he said. ...The revised ordinance now indicates a Wildlife Habitat Assessment report must be prepared by the applicant, specifically addressing wildlife habitat affected by the installation of a windmill.
A temporary wind power system has been installed at Stafford Park to test the site's potential for supplying a substantial amount of wind-turbine energy. The temporary tower structure is the linchpin of a yearlong study that both township officials and the site's developer, The Walters Group, hope yields data revealing that prevailing winds on the property can produce enough power to warrant the construction of a wind farm at the 370-acre, mixed-use development.
Conectiv Energy is moving ahead with its plans to build a big natural gas-fired power plant in southeastern Pennsylvania. The 545-megawatt facility near Delta, Pa., will run on natural gas in the warmer months, and when homeowners need that gas to heat their homes in the winter, it will switch over to fuel oil. The plant will be able to provide enough electricity to power 545,000 homes. ...This is a time of building for Conectiv. It is also constructing a 100-megawatt power plant in Cumberland, N.J., and it is bidding for the right to build a natural gas-fired power plant to back up a proposed wind farm off the coast of Rehoboth Beach. Those plans are on hold after legislative leaders blocked the wind farm plan last week
A planned 200-foot- high wind power test tower at Stafford Township Business Park has won a blessing from the state Pinelands Commission, which granted permission for the temporary structure as township officials and their development partners of the Walters Group investigate the potential for wind turbine energy. ...The test tower will go up on township land, but Walters will pay for the equipment and testing, Shives said. If the developers decide it's worth installing wind generators, the township will benefit by getting a share of the electricity to power its public works center and other facilities at the park, he said. A wind farm still would need a full review from the Pinelands Commission, "including provisions for the protection of fish and wildlife," according to commission documents. The area is adjacent to a state wildlife management area, and the business park's ongoing redevelopment was enabled by the commission's controversial decision to allow the project to proceed on a site with threatened and endangered plant and animal species.
A large swath off the New Jersey coast will be studied beginning in January to assess wildlife density where offshore windmill farms may be built as an alternative energy source, the state Department of Environmental Protection said Friday. The 18-month survey will focus on the 70 or so miles of coast between Seaside Park in Ocean County and Stone Harbor in Cape May County and extend as far as 20 nautical miles, or 23 miles, offshore. ...Although the study stems from a recommendation from a May 2006 report from the state's blue ribbon panel on developing wind energy farms in New Jersey, Jeff Tittel, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, said the research is unnecessary and just delays the construction.
Companies attempt to stand out from the competition based on three factors -- quality, speed and price, Stanton said. "We give you a fourth one." ...The company was one of the first businesses in New Jersey to commit to purchasing energy from the new wind farm in Atlantic City.
The state Board of Public Utilities is ready to commit up to $1.9 million now and $19 million over time to entice private companies to study and prepare grant applications for a wind turbine project off the Jersey coast. ...But the environmental impact and economic questions about offshore wind farms have not been answered. The impact on fishing, wildlife and shipping is important to the state. So is the cost of locating, maintaining and operating such a project. Until it has those answers, the state is "putting the cart before the horse," as Tim Dillingham of the American Littoral Society said after learning of the BPU's solicitation.
About 70 windmills will sprout in the ocean off the Jersey Shore, producing enough energy to power some 125,000 homes. The Board of Public Utilities on Wednesday gave its OK to a pilot project to erect the windmills between three to 20 miles off the state's shores.
New Jersey is offering up to $19 million to help support a potential wind turbine project off the coast, and at least one company is interested. ..."This was very exciting news to Bluewater Wind," which expects to submit a proposal, said James S. Lanard, head of strategic planning and communications for the Hoboken-based company.