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NJ law boosts Fishermen's demo

New rules give new chance for 24MW project off Atlantic City

NJ law boosts Fishermen's demo image

The New Jersey senate passed an offshore wind law yesterday that breathes new life into Fishermen’s Energy’s 24MW Atlantic City demonstration project.

The bill requires the state Board of Public Utilities to approve a qualified wind energy project and exempts it from cost benefit analysis. The board must open a 30-day application window for a project off Atlantic City.

The move would allow Fishermen’s Energy to reapply for its pilot, which will employ six Siemens 4MW units installed three miles offshore in state waters. The board previously rejected the scheme, saying it is too costly for ratepayers and that the proponent has not demonstrated its financial integrity.

The legislation passed the state assembly by a 48-21 vote on 17 December and now goes to governor Chris Christie to be signed into law.

Larger projects are also in the works off New Jersey. US Wind and RES America hold commercial leases for two sites with a combined 3.4GW potential.

The Christie government established the ‘offshore wind energy development act’ five years ago but has dragged its heels ever since. The 2010 law directs the BPU to develop an offshore renewable energy certificate programme to support at least 1100MW of offshore wind generation.

Offshore wind advocates are calling on the state to implement the law.

“The failure of the Christie administration to adopt rules for offshore wind or hold up projects like Fishermen’s Energy has cost New Jersey jobs and economic investments,” said New Jersey Sierra Club director Jeff Tittel.

“Now that we have auctioned off parcels off the coast, we need the governor to sign this bill and kickstart wind power in New Jersey,” he said.

Image: Fishermen's Energy met buoy on station off Atlantic City

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