NJ LAUNCHES OFFSHORE WIND EXPLORER
Cape May wind-energy firm launches data buoy off Atlantic City
Michael Miller, April 29, 2010 (Press of Atlantic City)
"Fishermen's Energy launched a weather and whale buoy…three miles off the coast in the race to build New Jersey's first offshore wind farm…Anchored in 40 feet of water…[it] will spend the next two years gathering weather data such as wind speed and barometric pressure…
"Fishermen's Energy…has a head start on its competition, Garden State Offshore Wind and Bluewater Wind [to build the first offshore project], because Fishermen's Energy is building a 20-megawatt demonstration project in state waters where there is less red tape."
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"This smaller project 2.8 miles off Atlantic City will help determine the viability of Fishermen's Energy's larger 350-megawatt project planned for 10 miles off the coast. The buoy will record the sounds of passing whales, dolphins, birds and bats. Studies have shown that bats are especially vulnerable to windmills, which create areas of low pressure between their spinning blades that can kill the small flying mammals.
"The four to eight windmills just off the coast will be just as prominent to beach and Boardwalk visitors as the five turbines spinning at the Atlantic County Utilities Authority…[and] should bring more jobs to Atlantic County…"
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"The state Board of Public Utilities has invested $12 million to help the three companies erect meteorological towers along the Continental Shelf. BPU President Lee A. Solomon said it is too early to tell how much more public money may be spent bringing this alternate energy to New Jersey electricity customers…[O]ffshore wind farms need to be big to be economical…But the steady breezes off New Jersey should provide a reliable source of power.
"The state's energy master plan calls for providing 3,000 megawatts from offshore wind by 2020. The projects proposed by the three companies represent just one-third of that goal…[ The New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, Environment New Jersey and Clean Ocean Action] applauded [the] buoy launch…[and] endorsed the wind projects."