Developer appeals N.J. rejection of Atlantic City project
CEO Chris Wissemann added that the state had no sound reason to reject a project that qualifies for the renewable energy goals set forth by the state under several laws.
“This motion is another step on the path toward an eventual approval of the project consistent with creating jobs and capturing other benefits under the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act, as anticipated by the Legislature” when it passed the act in 2010, he said.
When that bill was passed, Gov. Chris Christie (R) eagerly signed it and at the time said he was behind offshore wind energy development. Environmental groups in the state view the board’s subsequent rejection as Christie reversing himself to prepare for a White House run in 2016.
When they voted against it last month, board members expressed concern that the state would be left with the tab if federal grants and other subsidies didn’t materialize. Staff documents also take issue with how the wind project would be compensated through the state’s offshore wind renewable energy certificate program, or OREC.
Another factor may be Fishermen’s affiliation with XEMC, a Chinese turbine manufacturer that owns a 70 percent stake in the 25 MW project. A spokesman for Fishermen’s said XEMC is limited to this one project and does not own a stake in the company, which was founded by commercial fishermen who hail from the Garden State.
Asked if politics could be in play with respect to the China connection, Fishermen’s spokeswoman Rhonda Jackson refused to speculate.
“I try to stay away from political perspectives,” she said in an email exchange.