Senate President Steve Sweeney, (D-3), West Deptford, Thursday cheered the news that state officials have approved permits for a wind turbine project nearly three miles off the Atlantic City coast, green-lighting what may become the nation’s first off-shore wind farm.
According to published reports, Fishermen’s Energy has received the go-ahead from state regulators to move forward with its plan for constructing a six-turbine, 25-megawatt wind-energy system 2.8 miles from Atlantic City’s boardwalk, capable of powering 10,000 homes.
Sweeney said in a release that the project was boosted by a 2010 law he sponsored – the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act – that opened the wind-energy market to new investment.
According to Fishermen’s Energy, construction of the project may be completed as early as next year, pending final permit approvals, which the energy consortium says may be received as early as next month. That timetable could put the Atlantic City system on-line well before a planned wind-farm off the Massachusetts coast, which would make it the nation’s first offshore wind project.
That law created an offshore wind renewable energy certificate (OREC) program to require that a percentage of electricity sold in the state be from offshore wind energy. Much like the solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) program, the OREC system allows wind energy producers to receive credits that can be sold to produce revenues, offset production costs and stabilize energy rates.