Appeal to resume on proposed windmill power project in Atlantic City
Fishermen's Energy said it plans to resume its appeal of the decision by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to deny a proposed windmill power project off the coast of Atlantic City.
"We're committed to building it. We intend to build it, and I expect we will build it," said Paul Gallagher, chief operating officer for Fishermen's Energy.
The company wants to put five windmills about three miles off the coast of Atlantic City. Fishermen's Energy has already invested six years of research and money into the project.
On Nov. 21, the BPU ruled there was no guarantee that the company would receive all the subsidies it needs to generate electricity at an affordable rate. The BPU said the project can't move forward without guarantees of at least $100 million in federal subsidies.
This was the third time the proposal was rejected by the BPU.
Environmentalists blasted the decision, saying the country needs non-polluting sources of power.
The BPU's latest denial focused on whether Fishermen's Energy would qualify for a federal Business Energy Investment Tax Credit, which doesn't actually exist, according to Gallagher.
"We did get the DOE [Department of Energy] grant, which was $50 million, and then there was last year, up until Dec. 31, the potential for an investment tax credit of another $50 million dollars, maybe even $60 million dollars. That expired last Dec. 31," Gallagher said.
Regardless as to whether Washington renews the investment tax credit, Gallagher said Fishermen's Energy is willing to accept the risk and build the windmill power project at the price the company proposed.
"We've met the net benefit test on a price we've proposed, and have accepted all the risk associated with that price and the net benefits will bring to the state are well in excess of the cost the project," Gallagher said. He added, the B-P-U isn't accepting that fact, even though its experts agree.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.