Developer to file court appeal after NJ rejects offshore wind farm proposal

Source: By Alexi Friedman, The Newark Star-Ledger • Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014

Fishermen’s Energy, which is seeking to build a $188 million wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City, said today it will file a court appeal to reverse the state Board of Public Utilities’ decision rejecting the project. Above, turbines at Britain’s largest offshore wind farm. (Getty Images)

An executive for the coalition of investors trying to build the country’s first offshore wind farm today said it will appeal a decision by New Jersey regulators to reject the $188 million project.

“We plan to play out the process and file an appeal,” said Paul Gallagher, chief operating officer of Fishermen’s Energy, which first proposed the 25-megawatt wind farm off the Atlantic City coast in 2011.

On Wednesday, the state Board of Public Utilities refused to reconsider its March 19 decision rejecting the plan. At that hearing, board members said they supported offshore wind energy but maintained the plan relies too heavily on unsecured federal grants, leaving ratepayers on the hook for millions of dollars.

Fishermen’s Energy disputes that assertion, and Gallagher said the BPU “didn’t make its decision based on facts of evidence, it made it on supposition.” He said the four-member board “either misread or were misled on the record.”

In a statement, Fishermen’s Energy said it will now turn to the courts for vindication.

“We are grateful New Jersey has an independent judiciary and look forward to having the merits of our application finally heard in the Appellate Division.” Gallagher said a notice of appeal would be filed in the coming weeks; an appellate court decision could take up to a year.