Regarding the July 23 article, "State BPU puts brakes on plan for wind farm off Atlantic City":
Build the offshore windmill farm, and they will come.
Offshore wind-power development offers something extremely valuable for our economy, environment and security - a source of clean, domestic, inexhaustible energy to meet our fast-growing electricity demand. This will also bring thousands of jobs to New Jersey.
While many other countries have wind projects installed offshore, the U.S. so far has none. This demonstration wind farm would be built just 2.8 miles from the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Its turbines could produce up to 25 megawatts, capable of powering about 10,000 homes.
This project was recently approved by the state's Office of Rate Counsel, which is significant since this office had been one of the most vocal critics of the project.
However, the state's Board of Public Utilities, one of the last hurdles for the project, just put the brakes on it, citing costs. This ruling ignores the fact that $100 million in federal tax credits would be received for the project if the developer, Fishermen's Energy, of Cape May, spends at least $10 million on the project by the end of the year.
We believe an important factor in favor of the wind-farm pilot project has been overlooked - its value as another tourist attraction for Atlantic City. Imagine how many more people would ride the giant Ferris wheel being built next to the Steel Pier if one of the sights they could see would be the wind farm? Many people would also be curious enough to book a boat trip out to see it up close.
Being the first in the nation has a cachet we just can't waste. We urge citizens, Gov. Chris Christie and the Atlantic City Alliance to exercise whatever influence they can in supporting this valuable project.