The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

New Jersey Offshore Wind Proposal Still Seeks Answers

One of a handful of fledgling U.S. offshore wind projects is still in limbo seeking state support in New Jersey, and the clock's ticking.

This summer Fishermen's Energy officially submitted its offshore wind proposal, the Fishermen's Atlantic City Windfarm (FACW), to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) after lengthy back-and-forth and a number of compromises with the State of New Jersey's Division of Rate Counsel, particularly in lowering the prices by around 40 percent. Last month, however, the BPU rejected the proposal detailing a number of concerns about establishing a ~$19 million risk backstop, lack of clarity in escrow, and a lack of clarity and confidence in the evaluation of turbine technologies and suppliers.

Rate Counsel responded that the newest FACW proposal strikes a balance between ratepayers' needs and the project's attractiveness to future private investment: "The provisions of the Stipulation adhere to the statute's language and intent, while taking into account the real-world requirements for building and financing offshore wind." More broadly, BPU's approval of FACW would stamp the state's commitment to "move forward with its energy policy goals of developing offshore wind" — and with the agreed-upon amendments, at a significantly reduced cost to ratepayers than the original project proposal.

A month later, two of the BPU's concerns have already been addressed: achieving Type B certification for the wind turbines, to be supplied by XEMC, and some reassurance of XEMC's financial viability. FACW also has offered to further amend its proposal to fold that $19 million back into the price, but Rate Counsel is mulling to what extent that will affect ratepayers and whether it could accept that change, according to its division director Stefanie A. Brand.

"The fundamental question is: do you want ratepayers assisting in funding these types of projects? If yes, that will cost a lot of money," Brand told REW.com. Still, "for offshore wind to get established in the U.S., there probably needs to be a ratepayer contribution to help the industry get going." What could ultimately amount to hundreds of millions of dollars isn't an easy pill for ratepayers or Rate Counsel to swallow, she acknowledged, "but that doesn't mean it's not worth paying for, if it helps us move from fossil fuel-based energy supply to more renewable energy."

Evidentiary hearings scheduled for late August, mainly involving back-and-forth between FACW and BPU, were postponed and now are tentatively planned for the end of October. Once that finally happens all sides will file more briefs and then await a final BPU decision. Having already accepted multiple extensions and delays, FACW has to start thinking toward some end-of-year deadlines to meet federal tax credits, and benchmarks before next spring when the DoE "down-selects" its funding for offshore wind demonstrations from seven projects to three, confirms FACW spokesperson Rhonda Jackson. Getting BPU's stamp of approval would give FACW a big boost toward the latter, especially given the uncertainty surrounding other DOE offshore wind candidates.

Lead image: Boardwalk to Winter Beach, New Jersey, via Shutterstock

RELATED ARTICLES

Pope Francis

A 9-Minute Guide To Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Climate Change

Jim Lane, Biofuels Digest Pope Francis issued Laudato si’ (Praise Be to You) On the care for our common home, his second encyclical, concerning Catholic doctrine with respect to climate change, consumerism, and development.
US Capitol

Republicans and Democrats Back Bill to Level the Playing Field for Renewable Energy

Vince Font, Contributing Editor U.S. Senators Chris Coons and Jerry Moran are leading a bipartisan effort to reintroduce tax code legislation aimed at leveling the playing field for renewable energy investment. The Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act w...
African vultures wind turbines

Ecological Map Could Save Vultures from Fledgling African Wind Farm Development

Becky Allen, British Ecological Society Ecologists have developed a new map that could help Lesotho's first wind farms generate low carbon energy without putting the region's vulnerable vulture population at risk. The map is part of a study published today in the...
Pope Francis

The Common Goals of the Pope and Clean Energy

Paul Stinson, EDF Pope Francis turned a keen eye toward the environment and the problem of climate change with his encyclical,“Laudato Si” (“Praised Be”). As a clean energy advocate, I’m heartened that Pope Francis recognizes the need t...
Jim is Contributing Editor for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, covering the solar and wind beats. He previously was associate editor for Solid State Technology and Photovoltaics World, and has covered semiconductor manufacturing and related industries, ...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 3
1505REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

CanWEA Winter Solstice Fundraising Dinner

CanWEA Winter Solstice Fundraising Dinner December 1, 2015 Toronto, Ontario

CanWEA Annual Conference and Exhibition

The annual CanWEA Conference & Exhibition has helped companies marke...

COMPANY BLOGS

Renewables make huge strides globally in 2014

Renewable sources of energy are making an increasing impact on the globa...

The Almost There Markets: Just Give ‘Em Some Time

Earlier this year, we reported on recent legalization of third party fin...

Meteorological Technology International Magazine - SENSORS AND SENS...

Over the past 10 years, these sensing technologies have spread tre...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS