Developer to sue N.J. over 25 MW Atlantic City project

Source: Colin Sullivan, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The developer of an offshore New Jersey wind farm says it will sue the state after regulators this week rejected for a second time the company’s proposal to build a 25-megawatt project.

At issue is a pilot wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City that is in the running for an Energy Department phase two $47 million grant and would be the first wind project built in the state. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities last week rejected a motion to reconsider the project.Paul Gallagher, general counsel of developer Fishermen’s Energy, said in a statement that he is not surprised but will file a lawsuit against the BPU in state court.

Gallagher also charged that the decision was handed down quickly to avoid possible awarding of the DOE grant in the meantime. He called the board’s vote “perfunctory” because federal officials could have erased doubts about the project’s funding stream if the vote had been stayed.

“We expect to be vindicated by the courts and to build the first offshore wind farm off New Jersey, one that still could be the first in the United States,” he said.

The board rejected the $188 million blueprint on the grounds that funding is not guaranteed, and it would cost $263 per megawatt-hour once completed. But Fishermen’s has argued that the real price would be closer to $199 per MWh.

A Chinese turbine manufacturer, Xiangtan Electric Manufacturing Group Co., owns a 70 percent stake in the project.