Articles filed under General from New Jersey
Bayonne’s dysfunctional and out-of-operation wind turbine is again the talk of the town. For 15 months, a “bad generator” has kept its massive blades from spinning and producing clean energy, and that has residents frustrated.
“If there are not limits placed on utility-scale solar projects, it will consume all of the remaining really great land in New Jersey,” said Susan Payne, executive director of New Jersey’s State Agriculture Development Committee. “I mean, it’s existential at that point.” ...On farms that have already been preserved, states must determine whether landowners can add solar arrays. And on farms that aren’t protected, preservationists could find themselves racing to get there before solar developers do.
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.
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.
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.
Little Falls Council President Louis Fontana said creating the ordinances is a way for the township to be proactive in case issues arise in the future with solar and wind energy projects. "As solar and wind energy projects become more popular, we want to try and protect the town and put in place rules and regulations regarding them," said Fontana.
Significant progress was made in repairing the city's dormant wind turbine on Tuesday afternoon when its massive blades -- which had been lowered to the ground to make way for repairs -- were hoisted back up and reattached.
The massive blades of the city's dormant wind turbine have been lowered to the ground as workers continue to carry out repairs that began last week. ...Every month that the turbine goes unrepaired costs the city roughly $25,000 in energy savings, Boyle has said. Assuming the turbine is fixed by the end of March, the money lost in energy savings would total about $225,000.
After costing the city more than $200,000 in energy savings since breaking down in June, Bayonne's dormant wind turbine is undergoing repairs this week.
The wind turbine used to power the city's Oak Street and Fifth Street pumping stations has gone motionless, costing the city roughly $25,000 a month in energy costs, officials confirmed. And there's more possible bad news -- Bayonne may be on the hook for roughly $350,000 to replace the broken generator.
The hearings occur at a time when the Legislature is considering a bill that would dramatically ramp up the state’s reliance on renewable energy to meet its needs. If adopted, it would require 80 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2050. The proposal is opposed by many business groups, who fear it would boost already high energy costs, since some of the programs are funded by surcharges on utility bills.
A spokesman for the governor did not respond to a request for comment, but state officials have said the project by Fishermen’s Energy is too financially risky. ...offshore wind farms are extremely costly to build, with some companies estimating price tags of more than $1 billion to build 90 turbines off the New Jersey coast.
While this newest development ends the legal battles between the borough and the sewerage authority for now, it remains unclear whether the authority, which has already spent nearly $6 million, will continue to pursue construction of the wind turbine. ...while the case was pending, the turbine was stored at a facility in Newark that was flooded during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. ...the turbine’s generator, its control panel and the blades were damaged.
Components for the windmill delivered Thursday morning to the Wayne Auto Spa included a pole on which the turbine was to be mounted that didn't match manufacturer plans for the concrete-slab base.
A state law prohibiting Union Beach from blocking the construction of a large wind turbine may have been illegal “special legislation” written with input by a lobbyist, according to an attorney for the borough. Stuart Lieberman, special counsel for Union Beach, appeared Feb. 12 in the Appellate Division of state Superior Court in Mount Holly, seeking to overturn an earlier trial court ruling in favor of the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority (BRSA), which is seeking to build a 380-foot turbine in the borough.
The hotly debated proposal, introduced six years ago and now under final review by the state Board of Public Utilities, may face a new obstacle. BPU president Robert Hanna, who is presiding officer on that case, was this month nominated as a Superior Court judge and could be confirmed before any decision is made on the pilot-project wind farm.
A subsidiary of gas utility owner New Jersey Resources will spend $22 million to acquire and build a wind farm in Montana, its first onshore wind project, the company said Wednesday.
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.
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.