The state Board of Public Utilities again rejected the Fisherman’s Energy wind project off Atlantic City Friday.
For three years the 25 megawatt project has been in the works, aiming to place five wind turbines off the coast of South Jersey.
The project is estimated to bring approximately 500 jobs to the area including engineering, steel worker and labor positions. A back and forth between the BPU and Fisherman’s Energy has seen the $188 million project rejected by the BPU twice before.
In 2013 the Board refused to approve the proposal because it was not financially stable and in May 2014 it alleged the energy price of $263 per megawatt hour was too high in a second denial of the project. Fisherman’s Energy maintained the price it had proposed was $199.17 per MWH and appealed the decision.
New Jersey’s Appellate Court ruled in August that the BPU had to give the Fisherman’s Energy proposal another look.
In its most recent rejection, the BPU echoes reasons it had in its previous decisions. The Board claims electric ratepayers would be on the hook for $19 million if the project fails.
State Senate President Stephen Sweeney lambasted the BPU’s decision in a written statement Friday afternoon.
“The wind project off the coast of Atlantic City should be under construction by now, pumping money into the local economy. This project is not only great for the environment but once construction begins, would bring hundreds of good paying jobs to the region,” he wrote. “Over three years ago we passed legislation that was meant to make New Jersey the national leader in wind and renewable energy. It means hundreds, if not thousands, of new jobs for our state in a time of economic uncertainty. But three years later, even though the bill was signed into law, nothing has happened to make this a reality. New Jerseyans have suffered because of this inaction.”
New Jersey’s Sierra Club agreed, saying the BPU’s rejection of the wind energy project is cowing to “Big Oil.”
“The BPU cannot justify the continuous rejection of this project and have actually run out of excuses, but they are doing it anyway. We are very troubled by the way the Board of Public Utilities continues to treat offshore wind, Jeff Tittel, director of the Sierra Club, wrote in a release. “They keep delaying or ignoring the issue. It is disturbing that the Fisherman’s Energy project was rejected again even though they met the net benefits test, have federal funding, and had the support of the Rate Payer Advocate.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding