Finding a source of renewable energy that is accepted by everyone, easily accessible and does not result in some sort of environmental damage has been nearly impossible. Geothermal is not readily accessible for everyone, solar farms have been frying up plenty of birds who mistakenly fly over them and wind turbines have also taken out their fury on a variety of avian species. Still, they are the best current alternatives to toxic fossil fuels which is why the federal government has begun pouring money into more sustainable forms of energy production.
Such federal investment is not only good for the environment but promotes job growth for contractors and engineers. So when the state of New Jersey got funding for a multi-million dollar wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City there was quite a bit of excitement across the state. Until the state rejected it, effectively turning down a $47 million dollar grant.
Fishermen’s Energy, a group of fisherman based out of Cape May (the company behind the project) and others who were looking forward to the ambitious project were none too happy when they discovered that the state had denied the project. But, a state appeals court did not very much like that the project was cancelled and urged New Jersey to reconsider the project.
The Cape May based group was first rejected in March after the Board of Public Utilities declared that the project would require too much state money after the group only received $47 million in May (out of the $100 million they had expected). Since they only received half the funding, the cost of the energy produced on taxpayers increased from $199 per megawatt hour to $263 per megawatt hour. With no money and little interest it looked as though the project would fade away but months later it has managed to cling on.
The Court has declared that the BPU has 120 days to review Fishermen Energy’s cost per megawatt hour estimate and decide if the project is viable. If they do there is a chance that the wind farm will draw in wind industry contractors to New Jersey. More contractors could turn New Jersey into a major center of sustainable energy in America and, with the number of people New Jersey has to support, becoming more sustainable seems like a very financially enticing idea.
Hopefully the project will be approved and become a major asset for Southern New Jersey and its’ contractors. Over the next 120 days we will keep you updated on the wind farms progress.