Legislative sources confirm that the Senate will vote Thursday on an amended version of Senator Jim Whelan’s (D-2) bill to allow new wind turbines off the Atlantic City coast. The bill, amended by the Assembly last year, would allow Cape May developer Fisherman’s Energy to present a revised building plan to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities within a new thirty-day window.
The BPU has rejected the developer’s off-shore wind plan three times before, determining that the economic benefits of the new turbines would not outweigh the cost of tax subsidies to energy providers and calling the financial integrity of some of the plan’s Chinese backers into question. With those backers now out of the equation and the Senate expected to pass Whelan’s bill, Governor Christie’s signature could mean a new chance for the project.
The Assembly amended the bill to reinstate a requirement for Fisherman’s Energy to submit a cost-benefit analysis to the BPU.
Energy New Jersey, a group which has agitated for the new turbines, called southern New Jersey uniquely well-suited for wind power facilities. A study from the group suggests that the proliferation of wind power facilities in New Jersey could lead to the carbon output of 1.1 million cars being taken out of the emmissions equation by 2021.
“The potential offshore of Atlantic City remains an untapped jackpot,” said the group’s director Doug O’Malley.