Firm set to move forward on offshore wind farm near Atlantic City

Source: Saed Hindash • The Star Ledger • Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Saed Hindash/The Star-LedgerWind turbines in Atlantic City, in a 2009 file photo, which could soon be dwarfed by massive offshore turbines built by Fishermen’s Energy.

ATLANTIC CITY — The company planning to build what could be the nation’s first offshore wind farm says it’s ready to start construction on the multimillion-dollar project as soon as New Jersey officials give their approval.

Fishermen’s Energy of Cape May wants to build the wind farm about 2.8 miles off Atlantic City. It plans to erect five wind turbines that would produce up to 25 megawatts, capable of powering about 10,000 homes.

The company hopes that the state Board of Public Utilities will issue a decision on its proposal by March. If the panel gives its approval, the firm would likely begin construction sometime in the early fall, with the goal of being fully operational by Labor Day 2013.

Fishermen’s Energy’s says it would employ about 240 workers during construction of the $220 million project and create about 35 permanent jobs. The line would come ashore near Tennessee Avenue and connect to the regional power grid.

Fishermen’s Energy is among several companies that have repeatedly said it plans to go forward with offshore wind projects. And state environmental officials have said the firms could be eligible for tax credits and financial assistance.

In recent months, the company installed a device on a Margate apartment building roof to measure wind. It will use the device to make detailed weather measurements, ultimately helping developers and engineers place gear.

New Jersey’s energy master plan calls for expanded wind power. In August 2010, Gov. Chris Christie signed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act, which calls for 1,100 megawatts of wind energy to be generated by the end of 2012.

Environmentalists generally favor allowing windmills as a way of generating clean energy.