EDF RE in talks to buy stalled Fishermen's Energy project

UNITED STATES: EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) has entered into a preliminary agreement with Fishermen's Energy to acquire its 24MW Atlantic City project.

Construction of rthe proposed wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City has long been delayed (pic credit: Bob Jagendorf)

Plans for the proposed wind farm off the coast of New Jersey had stalled due to long-running feasibility disputes and the US Department of Energy (DoE) withdrawing funding.

But EDF’s US renewables division hopes to use the fully developed project as its starting point in the US offshore wind sector.

Doug Copeland, EDF Renewable Energy’s regional project development manager, said: "The US offshore wind industry is poised for tremendous growth and we believe an early-stage project will help New Jersey develop the infrastructure to support this rapidly growing industry."

EDF RE said it expects the project to "generate skilled offshore wind construction and operations jobs, positioning New Jersey’s workforce to build gigawatts of wind projects".

The developer also anticipates the project will aid testing of new bird monitoring and marine mammal sensing technologies, it stated.

The company believes such trials will "ultimately inform cost reduction for future projects", it added.

New Jersey

Overall, EDF RE said it expects completion of the "near-term" project — which could be the state’s first offshore wind farm — to "enable New Jersey to gain a leadership position in the offshore wind industry".

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order in January calling for 3.5GW of offshore wind by 2030.

He also announced that the state’s Board of Public Utilities (BPU) will launch a tender for 1.1GW, though a date for this has not yet been set.

Fishermen's Energy

The developer won the final construction permit for its six-turbine demonstration project in 2012.

But Fishermen's Energy became involved in a long-running dispute with state officials over the feasibility of the project, delaying its construction.

It was also awarded conditional DoE funding in 2014, but after the developer failed to finalise a power purchase agreement by the end of 2016, the department withdrew the majority of the $47 million it had offered.