Last month, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) made history when it awarded a combined 2,658 MW of offshore wind capacity to two wind energy companies. This award was the largest collective MW award in the United States to date, and it raised New Jersey’s total planned capacity to over 3,700 MW. This award is a significant step toward reaching Governor Phil Murphy’s goal of 7,500 MW of offshore wind by 2035 and 100 percent clean energy by 2050.
Tagged: Renewable Energy
On May 4, 2016, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) proposed amendments to regulations governing its comprehensive eagle conservation and management program. The proposal follows a successful challenge by environmental groups to FWS’ prior attempt to change its eagle rules, which was tossed out by a federal judge in 2013. The proposed modifications include changes to the manner by which FWS issues permits allowing otherwise prohibited activities which may unintentionally injure or disturb golden and bald eagles.
Recently, Governor Christie vetoed legislation designed to allow additional applications for offshore wind projects seeking approval from state regulators. The now-defunct bill, S988, sponsored by Senators Bob Smith (D-Middlesex) and Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic), sought to allow the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (“BPU”) to open a 30-day period for the submission of offshore wind project applications. More specifically, the bill would have allowed BPU to accept and approve “a qualified wind energy project that is located in territorial waters offshore of [a] municipality in which casino gaming is authorized,” i.e. a wind project offshore from Atlantic City.
Solar and Wind Energy Generation facilities may soon join the category of uses designated as permitted of right by New Jersey statute rather than by individual municipal ordinance, thus preempting municipal zoning powers granted under the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq. (MLUL). Identical Bills, Senate S2126 and Assembly A3139 are pending before their respective house of the New Jersey’s legislature and would amend the MLUL to provide that Solar and or Wind Energy Generation Facilities, when installed on the sites of former landfills, quarries and other extractive industries, are permitted uses. This status would be equally applicable to both public and private sites where landfills, quarries or other extractive industries are closed or closing.
On June 8, 2010, Governor Chris Christie joined nine East Coast state governors in signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of the Interior, which creates the Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium. The consortium is intended to foster federal-state cooperation for commercial wind development on the Outer Continental Shelf off the Atlantic coast.