Court: New Jersey must reconsider offshore windmill plan
A New Jersey appeals court ruled in favor of Fishermen's Energy in a dispute over the company's plan.
The Board of Public Utilities had denied approval for the project in April. The board ruled that a Chinese company that would own 70 percent of the project did not demonstrate financial integrity and had not shown it could get the necessary federal subsidies.
Fisherman's Energy appealed the rejection, and Monday's ruling will require the board to reconsider the project.
The company also said that the board must acknowledge the company's proposed price of $199 per megawatt hour instead of the $263 per megawatt hour it cited in its rejection of the project.
Environmental groups cheered the decision.
"The Shore is in the crosshairs of climate change, and offshore wind is our best bet to jump-start a clean energy economy," Doug O'Malley, director of Environment New Jersey, said in a statement. "Today's news is another sign of strength for the Fishermen's Energy project and offshore wind - and a shot across the bow for the capricious nature the BPU has treated offshore wind."
Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said that the board would have a harder time trying to deny Fisherman's Energy's applications.
The Energy Department selected Fishermen's Energy in May as one of three windmill projects it says will lower costs, increase performance, and overcome hurdles to installing more utility-scale turbines in American waters.
The department said each of the projects it approved for funding must meet several benchmarks within the next year, including receiving all necessary approvals.