Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Trying to blow some offshore wind into NJ's energy sails

With a state consultant recommending the rejection of public funding for a demonstration project off Atlantic City, larger offshore projects undergoing a lugubriously slow federal approval process, federal credits drying up, and cheaper natural gas energy flowing into the regional market, New Jersey's hope of becoming the home of the nation's first offshore energy wind farm is losing momentum.  

At an Assembly hearing yesterday in Trenton, offshore wind energy advocates tried to pump some wind into the industry's sagging sails.

Assemblyman Jim Whelan talked about the expected tourism and maritime benefits that Atlantic City expects to reap from the Fishermen's Energy project. Environmentalists stressed that reducing pollution from fossil-fuel energy plants is a worthwhile tradeoff for wind energy's higher, short-term costs, and Telecommunications and Utilities Committee Chairman Upendra Chivukula noted that developing a source of homegrown renewable energy would lessen the nation's dependence on foreign supplies.

We have video interviews with three of the key participants in yesterday's hearing: Stefanie Brand, Director of the NJ Division of Rate Counsel, Fishermen's Energy President Daniel Cohen, and  Committee Chairman Upendra Chivukula.

We recommend that you check out yesterday's post that provided background to the hearing Offshore wind blowing into NJ Legislature-March 5 2012.

NJ Spotlight's Tom Johnson did a nice job summarizing the hearing today in The Tough Task of Making Offshore Wind Pay

Blue Jersey (as they are wont to do) finds a way to blame it all on Governor Chris Christie and the Koch brothers in Is Chris Christie the Third Koch Brother? (video)

What's your take on the status of offshore wind energy?  Use the comment box below. If one is not visible, activate it by clicking on the tiny 'comments' line. 

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