United States

United States

Fishermen's Energy receives second PUC rejection

UNITED STATES: New Jersey regulators have rejected Fishermen's Energy's proposal to build a 25MW project in state waters for the second time, ruling the development does not offer value for money.

Fishermen's met buoy off the Atlantic City coast
Fishermen's met buoy off the Atlantic City coast

In a statement, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) said the project "does not provide a net economic and environmental benefit to New Jersey ratepayers".

The verdict was unanimous decision with board members rejecting claims that the previous ruling was based on an incorrect calculation of the price of energy from the project. It stated that costs were "evaluated and fully considered" in its original dismissal.

The 25MW demonstration project is a crucial part of Fishermen's plan to build a 330MW project off the New Jersey coast by 2022. However, this is the second rejection from the regulator.

In April, the BPU refused to approve the project off the Atlantic City coast, on the basis that its expected energy price of $263/MWh was too high and should not be borne by state consumers.

But judges of the appellate division of the state superior court ruled in August that the regulator must reconsider the proposal.

They said the BPU must acknowledge the application suggests the project's electricity price will be $199.17/MWh, not the significantly higher $263/MWh price used by the commission in its calculations.

However, in its latest ruling, the regulator said it did consider the $199.17/MWh price, and it still found that the plan "does not demonstrate financial integrity".

Fishermen's Energy was also awarded a $47 million grant by the Department of Energy in May as part of a package to help spur offshore wind development. The court said this should also be taken into account in the reconsideration of the proposal.

Following this latest rejection, the company said it will go back to court, using its active appeal to do so.

The developer said it already has all the federal and state permits it needs to start construction. If the BPU approves the plan, Fishermen's said it could begin work onshore next year, with offshore construction starting in 2016.

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