New Jersey Offshore Wind Energy Not Dead

No wind energy for New Jersey yet…

If New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was serious about killing New Jersey’s prospects for offshore wind energy, he got what he wanted. According to a report earlier this week, the US Energy Department was forced to yank millions in funding out from under a planned six-turbine wind farm off the coast of coast of Atlantic City.

Fortunately for offshore wind fans, there are three reasons why the victory will almost certainly be a temporary one.

DONG Energy’s 1 Gigawatt Bay State Offshore Wind FarmA Cutting Offshore Edge Wind Farm For New Jersey…

The Atlantic City project would have put New Jersey on the global wind industry map, as the site of an innovative demonstration project.

Its developer, Fishermen’s Energy, won an initial round of Energy Department funding in 2014, as part of a three-project package designed to promote cutting edge technology in the US.

Here’s the Energy Department enthusing over Fishermen’s contribution:

Fishermen’s Energy Atlantic City Windfarm will demonstrate the use of a twisted jacket foundation that is easier to manufacture and install than traditional foundations, helping drive down the cost of energy produced by the offshore wind system.

…So, What Happened?

The latest grant was contingent upon Fishermen’s ability to find a buyer for electricity from the project, by December 31.

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Prospects looked good as recently as last October, but apparently the deal fell through.

That was just the latest blow in a long battle that Fishermen’s has weathered in New Jersey.

The state’s Governor, Chris Christie, has been accused of repeatedly tripping up the project through the Board of Public Utilities, reportedly because of his presidential ambitions and close relationship with the Koch brothers.

Governor Christie dropped out of the Republican primary early in February 2016, but apparently he was already laying the groundwork for engaging with the eventual Republican nominee. In May 2016 he vetoed state legislation that would have enabled Fishermen’s Energy to move forward.

Down, Not Out Off The Jersey Shore

Those offshore leases were awarded to two companies, US Wind Inc. and RES America Developments Inc..

All that electricity will sure come in handy as the state prepares to shutter its aging Oyster Creek nuclear power plant.

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