After learning that the New Jersey Supreme Court will not hear its appeal, embattled offshore wind developer Fishermen's Energy will reconfigure its Atlantic City, N.J.-based pilot project using Siemens 4.0-130 wind turbines in an effort to appease state regulators.
According to Fishermen's Energy, moving to Siemens' 4 MW offshore wind turbine will address the objections raised by the Board of Public Utilities (BPU), the state regulator with which the developer has been locked in a stalemate since 2013. The BPU has noted that Fishermen's frequent switching of turbine suppliers has hurt the wind developer's application. In its initial June 2011 project application, the BPU says the developer was considering three possible turbine manufacturers: Siemens, GE and China-based XEMC New Energy. When Fishermen's opted to go with the China-based XEMC, the BPU questioned the effectiveness of the XEMC turbines.Â
By switching to Siemens, Fishermen's hopes it has done enough to convince the BPU.
‘We have been working with Siemens to utilize their 4 MW turbine – a turbine that is the class leader around the world and one that is ideally suited for waters off the coast of New Jersey,’ says Chris Wissemann, CEO of Fishermen's. ‘We actually heard the BPU a long time ago, but the legalistic nature of the process has hindered our ability to work collaboratively with the BPU to agree on a solution.
‘With the legal challenges behind us, we can now announce progress we have made to reconfigure the project to address the issues that the BPU raised in denying approval last year – namely cost, using proven turbines and traditional sources of project financing.’
‘We hope that with the legal process concluded, we can engage in open discussions with the BPU on how a new application can be optimized to pass the BPU's criteria for approval’ adds Paul Gallagher, chief operating officer . ‘By working together, we believe we can reduce the cost to a level that meets BPU's objectives.’
‘Lastly, we appreciate all the hard work that our past turbine manufacturer, XEMC, poured into New Jersey to help build a market here,’ explains Wissemann.