Library from New Jersey
Last month, the appellate division of the state's Superior Court denied a motion by the authority to dismiss an appeal by the borough, the latest step in a series of events that has included the borough Planning Board sending the turbine project to the Zoning Board and the BRSA challenging that decision to a trial court.
The Matawan Borough Council joined several other bayshore municipalities by passing a resolution that opposes the construction of a wind turbine in Union Beach at the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority's (BRSA) Wastewater Treatment Facility. The resolution cites multiple reasons for opposing the construction, including "health and safety concerns, lack of protection for community roads and infrastructure, noise concerns and diminished property values." Matawan Borough Mayor Paul Buccellato expressed concerns over unknown effects of decibel levels and the turbine's close proximity to homes.
In an Aug. 19 letter, Union Beach special counsel Stuart Lieberman said that any work BRSA does on the turbine - including the 262-foot-high foundation that is already in place- would have to be removed if the matter is ultimately decided in favor of the borough. ...The appeals process for the turbine is ongoing.
It also voted to require New Jersey to obtain 30 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020 - a standard Gov. Christie three months ago called unrealistic and dropped back to 22.5 percent in his energy master plan. Lobbyists and advocates jammed the third-floor hearing room of the Senate Environmental and Energy Committee to testify.
After a presentation by the president of OmniWind Energy Systems as well as a professional engineer and a planner, concerned residents needed another opportunity for public comment, and the zoning board still had questions. OmniWind is proposing to install 13 wind turbines with new poles and foundations at the existing site of lighting poles at Walmart.
The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston has conducted an analysis of 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind power for New Jersey. We found that these projects would produce costs of $4.793 billion to construct the windmills and connect them to regional electricity and provide backup sources of electricity for times of unfavorable winds.
But opponents say the programs hurt the economy when power plants pass the cost of buying emissions on to customers. They say emissions are dropping not because of cap-and-trade programs but because of the economic downturn and the reduced cost of natural gas, a cleaner source of energy.
If Walmart extends their lighting poles and installs the windmills "It’s going to look like a circus,” he said. But residents are not only worried about what they will see when looking out their windows. “I think it would be a safety concern,” Kim Zarycki said as she reflected on when wind turbines malfunctioned on two Forked River farms this past year.
They contend that allowing wind turbines on preserved farmland violates the intent of the state program that has paid farmers $1.4 billion since 1986 for the development rights to their property. They argue that those farmers would be double-dipping by getting paid for hosting commercial development on acreage for which they took taxpayer money to keep solely as farmland.
NRG Bluewater, the company that wants to build underground power lines for a proposed wind farm off the coast, has agreed to fund up to $85,000 of independent research on the effects of the construction.
The industrial wind turbine planned for the northeast corner of the BRSA property, just 1080 feet from a residential neighborhood, has caused outcry residents and environmentalists fearing negative health effects and loss of property value.
Eleven offshore wind companies want to stake a claim - and construct clusters of huge turbines - in federal waters off the coast of New Jersey, according to a document released by federal officials yesterday.
Christie's 141-page blueprint calls for reconsideration of other energy programs, including solar power, which New Jersey has been a national leader in promoting. At the news conference, the governor said the administration wanted to decrease the percentage of renewable sources in its portfolio to 22.5 percent because the 30 percent required was not achievable.
"RGGI is nothing more than a tax on electricity, a tax on our residents and on businesses with no discernible effect on our environment," he said. "We remain completely committed to make the environment of our state and world better. We're not going to do it by participating in gimmicky programs that don't work."
"RGGI drives up energy costs for consumers at a time when nobody can afford any additional taxes," Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington), who recently signed on to legislation to repeal the initiative, said in a statement.
Discussions between the BRSA and the Union Beach Borough Council began in December 2008. BRSA contends that they have held proper and sufficient public hearings on the proposed project while the borough council has charged the hearings lacked adequate transparency.
On Monday, the borough was granted a stay pending appeal by Judge Mary Catherine Cuff of the state Superior Court's Appellate Division.
"It is likely that one blade failed, and the imbalance created gyroscopic forces that broke the other two," Jones said. That is small comfort to those considering wind turbines. ...But with so many projects on hold and so much at stake, these flaws need to be addressed quickly - before someone is decapitated.
Knoeller's 17-year-old granddaughter was working with horses near the tower when the blades flew off. "One of them nearly hit her. ...The most disappointing aspect of this project prior to the blades falling off was the electric production was only 25 percent of what I was told I was going to get . The catastrophic blade failure was the last straw," Knoeller added.
While allowing the processing of $3 million in rebates to some 26 projects, the consultant recommended tightening the requirements for turbine vendors and installers operating in New Jersey. Among the recommended changes are requiring both to post some kind of bond on a project-by-project basis and requiring liability insurance to cover damage to turbines and other equipment.