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BPU Stalls Wind Off NJ's Coast


Date : Fri, 19 Jul 2013 14:20:00 -0400


For Immediate Release

July 19, 2013

Contact: Jeff Tittel, NJ Sierra Club, 609-558-9100

BPU Stalls Wind Off NJ's Coast

Today the BPU held a hearing on the future of the proposed Fisherman's Energy wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City.The company has reached an agreement with the Rate Payer Advocate that would reduce project costs, however the BPU staff is objecting to some of the stipulations.The project would install 6 turbines producing 25 MW of power 2.8 miles off the coast of Atlantic City.The project was originally $200 million.Under the tentative agreement between Fisherman's Energy and the Rate Payer Advocate the project costs would be reduced by $36 million and there would be additional savings in Offshore wind Renewable Energy Credits (OREC) costs totaling about $50 million in saving.Fisherman's Energy has also received $4 million in federal grants and if the spends $10 million of their own money before the end of the year, they could receive up to an addtional$100 million in federal funds.

"Clearly today the BPU put out a lot of hot air when it comes to offshore wind.The concern here is not Fisherman's Energy it is that BPU is trying to slow down or stop wind projects off our coast.It looks like they are deliberately trying to come up with ways to delay or sabotage this project and others.The Governor is more concerned about the Tea Party, the Koch Brothers than having wind off our coast. The administration is more concerned about the Governor's national ambitions than jobs and environmentally benefits this project would bring to New Jersey.Especially after Sandy when so many in the maritime industry need work this project is critical for them as well as the people of New Jersey," said Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club.

BPU is concerned, saying they are working in dark.But this is result of their own delays.The BPU has not developed rules for offshore wind or ORECs in the 3 years since the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act
(OWEDA) passed.

In the agreement if the project fails ratepayers could be on the hook for $19 million and the BPU is objecting.However they have no problem subsidizing the Susquehanna-Roseland line to carry in more coal-fired power from Pennsylvania or using $2 billion in rate payer subsidies for 3 new electric natural gas plants.

"BPU has no problem subsidizing fossil fuel plants or power lines for dirty coal but what they are doing could jeopardize New Jersey getting
$100 million for offshore wind," said Jeff Tittel.

When BPU does its economic benefits test we are concerned they are not looking at the benefits of reduced air pollution and carbon pollution, health benefits, and other positives from having clean energy off our coast.

Wind energy is renewable, clean, and thousands creates jobs. Offshore wind will provide electricity and jobs to places where it's needed most. The East Coast, with its large metropolitan areas and dense suburbs is hungry for jobs, investment and energy. Offshore wind can be the engine that drives economic growth in the region for decades to come.The delay in offshore wind is costing New Jersey as much as 3500 to 4000 jobs.

"The BPU is still fishing on Fisherman's energy and we are concerned that 3 years after OWEDA passed we are still up in the air when it comes to offshore wind.We are troubled with how the BPU is handling the project, not the project itself.The way the net benefits test was done and other reviews will other larger projects that we need to achieve the 1100 MW goal in OWEDA and the 3000 MW goal in the Energy Master Plan,"
said Jeff Tittel.

-- 
Kate Millsaps
Conservation Program Coordinator
NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club
609-656-7612
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Received on 2013-07-19 11:20:00

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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