Fishermen's Energy gets offshore wind approval

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A New Jersey offshore wind developer has obtained its final permit or regulatory approval needed to begin construction of its project off Atlantic City.  Fishermen’s Energy received a Clean Water Act individual permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  This approval could clear the way for actual construction of the project in the next two years.

A bumper sticker for Fox Islands Wind recently seen in the parking lot for the ferry from Rockland, Maine, to the island of Vinalhaven.  Fox Islands Wind has installed three turbines on the island, making it an onshore wind project on an offshore island.  Are offshore turbines next?

Fishermen's Energy envisions two phases of development off New Jersey.  The Fishermen’s Atlantic City Windfarm or FACW would be in state waters within 3 miles of the coast of Atlantic City.  The FACW project is expected to cost about $200 million, and will include five or six turbines in a linear array for a total nameplate capacity of 25 MW.  A submarine cable will connect the FACW to the mainland transmission grid operated by PJM, with power from the FACW being sold to New Jersey electric customers.  A second larger phase could occur in federal waters.

With the Army Corps permit in hand, Fishermen's Energy plans to start building the FACW onshore in Atlantic City in 2013, moving construction offshore and commissioning the project in 2014.

Fishermen's Energy is still waiting for the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to decide whether to require mainland utilities to purchase the project’s output.  Fishermen's Energy has asked the Board to approve its FACW project for the state's OREC program, which allows qualified offshore wind generators to produce ORECs and then creates a market for them by requiring utilities to procure ORECs.  That case remains pending.

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