Articles from New Jersey
During Atlantic Shores’ second meeting with recreational fishermen on Wednesday, Jan. 27 concerning its plans to build a wind farm on a lease off Long Beach Island and parts south to Atlantic City, there was still no word on how many wind turbines the company plans to build.
Too much too soon is how a noted oceanographer at the University of Rhode Island views offshore wind farm projects in New Jersey and other Northeast states. “There’s going to be hundreds or thousands of turbines off the East Coast, so it would be nice to understand these effects and how it translates into impacts before they get built,” Emeritus Professor John King has said in published reports. “Right now the government is pushing full speed ahead to get these things built, and I don’t think they really care that much about their impacts. The environmental reviews are being done really fast.”
New Jersey commercial fishermen who have been trying to slow the wind industry momentum were encouraged by news of the legislators' new skepticism. "Some of these legislators are starting to see the costs of all this," said Brick Wenzel, a Lavallette, N.J. fisherman who has been working with the New Jersey Farm Bureau, which recently joined fishing groups in calling for a five-year moratorium on wind projects.
The three legislators, all of whom were sponsors of the Offshore Wind Development Act, asked the state agency to look into representations made by Ørsted in its application to hire union labor and set up a fund to ensure minority businesses and women-owned businesses have an opportunity to enter the offshore-wind industry. They also want the agency to reach out to colleagues in other states about whether they experienced similar problems.
“We have such a short tourism season anyway. If there is any negative impact – even if it cuts tourism by 10 percent – it is just not worth it for them to mess with a good thing,” said one person who wished to remain anonymous. “Let them experiment with it somewhere else. It is nothing more than an industrial park on the water.”
The measure requires developers seeking New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approval as a qualified offshore wind project to include within its detailed description for the project any transmission facilities and interconnection facilities to be installed.
For the short term, offshore wind developers will likely have relatively few problems hooking up with the electric grid, at least to achieve the goals of developing 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030 ..Long term is another issue altogether.
It was a scary moment in Ocean Gate Friday morning around 11:00 am when a blade from a windmill came flying down from the sky and onto a residents front lawn on East Arverne Avenue. The turbine blade hit a service line and then fell onto the front lawn, Ocean Gate resident Kate Ranuro tells WOBM News.
“With the introduction of 12 MW, it is going to be the biggest machine ever deployed — the most powerful machines in the world.” The new units are bigger in megawatts generated and capacity and rotor diameter, he said. The GE turbine has a rotor diameter of 220 meters (722 feet). Each blade is 107 meters (351 feet) long, sweeping a total area of 38.000 square meters (409,000 square feet), according to Ørsted.
“I think it’s time to reiterate our position on wind farms,” he said. “I’d like to request the mayor send a letter to the governor once again to let him know we support wind farms, but they must be 33 miles offshore.” The council agreed and determined the required action did not require a formal motion and vote. Instead, Meehan agreed to send the requested letter to the governor. DeLuca said the reasoning behind asking to push the wind turbines even farther offshore was because technological advances since the original approval by the PSC have resulted in the development of much taller turbines capable of producing even more energy.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities said Ørsted will receive offshore renewable energy credits (ORECs) worth $98.10 per megawatt-hour in the project’s first year of operation, lifting the average residential customer’s monthly bill by $1.46. The project will generate enough renewable power for the equivalent of half a million homes.
Part of the problem is the state has yet to calculate the cost of transforming New Jersey’s economy from one based on fossil fuels to clean energy, a big step that will mean more expensive bills, in some cases, largely funded by ratepayers. “When we look at the clean-energy costs, and it is expensive and we know it is expensive.’’ ...By most estimates, those subsidies have cost ratepayers nearly $3 billion over the past decade to support the program. The expense of future programs is more muddled.
Add it up: No net economic benefits. Environmental damages. Growing public opposition. A variety of likely legal actions. The Great Lakes are held in the public trust by each bordering state and Canada. Accordingly, any proposal that will pollute and endanger the lakes should be wholly rejected by the agencies charged with protecting them, in this case the OPSB.
But many business groups oppose reentering RGGI at all. Tony Bawidamann, vice president of government affairs at the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, said the cap-and-trade program amounts to a tax on businesses that will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher energy costs. “This makes us less competitive in the region because the ratepayer is going to be paying more and more for energy use,” Bawidamann said. ...“It’s a costly state to live in, and this makes it even more costly,” he said.
In fact, the BPU declined to identify the three bidders who submitted applications in a press release announcing what it described as regaining New Jersey’s place as a “leader when it comes to clean renewable energy and offshore wind power.’’ Asked to supply further details about the projects in emails and phone calls, Peter Peretzman, a spokesman for the agency responded, “We are not sharing additional information at this time.’’
The price quoted by Nautilus was too high given the unsubstantiated benefits, and therefore an unacceptable burden for the state’s ratepayers. This includes the proposed OREC starting price plus the annual escalator. Board staff made this clear to Nautilus at multiple points during negotiations over the last three months, but the price never came down to an acceptable level.
“If someone is going to be the capital of offshore wind, we sure want it to be New Jersey,’’ said Tim Sullivan, CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority at an event yesterday touting offshore wind’s economic benefits to the state at Princeton University.
“The project is simply too expensive and will lead to more costs than benefits for New Jersey ratepayers despite the fact that these cost burdens, according to the company, may amount to only a few dollars per year,’’ Dismukes said. ...most offshore-wind development in the U.S. “is moving forward quickly with expansive programs that effectively skip any form of ‘experimental’ or ‘pilot’ process.’’
The three offshore wind companies with the ability to build turbines off New Jersey ...are in a competition for a ratepayer subsidy to build and run their facilities for 20 years, and that makes them cautious about describing the size and cost of their planned projects, where they will connect with New Jersey’s grid, and how they will minimize cost and maximize economic value to the state.
LONG BRANCH – Offshore windmills may be the future of energy here, but they're presently a source of agitation to commercial fishermen.