(SeeNews) - Dec 24, 2014 - US firm Fishermen’s Energy on Tuesday launched transmission infrastructure construction works for its 25-MW pilot wind project off Atlantic City.
Building works commenced with the start of installation of an on-land connection cable for the proposed wind park, despite the fact that the scheme has not been approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU).
Fishermen’s Energy’s goal is to qualify for the federal government’s Investment Tax Credit, retroactively extended for 2014 a few days ago, so it had to start construction before end-December, chief operating officer Paul Gallagher said, as quoted by local media.
The BPU has rejected for the third time the Atlantic City offshore wind project on the grounds that it “does not demonstrate financial integrity” and there is no guarantee that the developer will obtain the needed government subsidies. The developer is appealing the latest refusal before the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division, a hearing for which will be held in March.
In August, Fishermen’s Energy was awarded a USD-47-million (EUR 38.6m) grant by the Department of Energy (DOE) under a programme aimed at speeding up the commercialisation of innovative offshore wind technologies in the US. The Atlantic City wind farm will test the use of twisted jacket foundation which is cheaper to instal. In addition, the proposed facility will act as “an at-sea laboratory” to explore the interactions between turbines, test new control systems and provide information about potential environmental impacts of offshore wind.
As per the original plan, Fishermen’s Energy intended to initiate onshore building works in 2015 and bring the five-turbine plant online by 2016.