Search Site
Menu

Wind turbines: The answer my friend is not always blowing in the wind

The Superior Court of New Jersey in Re: Petition of Fisherman’s Atlantic City Windfarm, LLC for the Approval of the State Waters Wind Project and Authorizing Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Certificates, (2015) considered an appeal by Fishermen’s Atlantic City Windfarm, LLC, (FACW) for approval of a wind energy project that would be subsidized by the State’s ratepayers.

In 1999, the Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act (EDECA) was created to restructure the electric power industry in New Jersey. Essentially, this meant that the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) adopt “Renewable Portfolio Standards” where it was required that utility companies increase their reliance on renewable energy annually. In 2010, the EDECA was amended to allow for the development of an offshore wind energy program in New Jersey. The BPU would be responsible for reviewing any applications of this type, and each application had to include specific information on the proposed wind turbines (such as type and size), as well as the history to-date of the turbine, and the global track record of the turbine. Another huge component of the application is that each project show positive economic and environmental gain for New Jersey and that each applicant can prove financial integrity.

On May 16, 2011, FACW submitted an application to the BPU which proposed an offshore wind farm powered by six turbines with XEMC as the turbine manufacturer. As part of the application process, the BPU consulted with Boston Pacific Company, Inc. and Dr. David E. Dismukes of Acadian Consulting Group for expert opinions on the project. The experts concluded that the turbines FACW proposed were untested for offshore use and that an independent assessment of the technology should be provided. XEMC’s financial integrity was also questioned, as its financial information was based on Chinese standards, rather than American or even European standards, and it was asked that XEMC submit a statement from a recognized global accounting firm which explained the methodology of the Chinese standards and that could also affirm XEMC’s financial integrity.

FACW’s chief executive officer, Chris Wissemann, responded saying that the best they could do was provide an English translation of XEMC’s financial statements. Wissemann filed several amended applications, where FACW finally concluded that the proposed project would produce 85,492 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy, with a fifty percent chance that the actual output would exceed that projection. Still, expert opinion questioned the financial integrity of XEMC, and believed that the project would not result in net economic benefits since its capital costs were too high. On July 29, 2013, the BPU rejected FACW’s application. FACW filed for three rounds of appeal, where, ultimately, the Superior Court of New Jersey upheld the BPU’s decision.

The Superior Court of New Jersey stated that it found nothing unreasonable in the BPU’s concern of reliable and understandable accounting information about XEMC, and that the issue was not whether FACW translated XEMC’s financial information from Mandarin to English, but rather, that the accounting standards were not adequately explained. So language choice does not matter in the world of rate payers and utilities.   What does matter now is what has always mattered: sound supportable accounting. If the wind turbines will not be financially viable, then they ought not be installed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Attorneys

Recent Twitter Posts

  • New Jersey sets emergency water standards for new chemicals. https://t.co/trgaaLL1mD
    5 months ago
  • How will New Jersey manage stormwater as the climate changes and flooding increases? https://t.co/dhVLALyzZ2
    5 months ago
  • Unprecedented storms are slamming NJ – learn how to be the best advocate for your clients when the next flood hits.… https://t.co/TicH6iAjP0
    5 months ago
  • Trenton Water Works has removed 25 percent of lead pipes throughout its service area. https://t.co/KUvhMsJlvU
    5 months ago

Recent Blog Posts

Supreme Court concludes that attorney review period is not a requirement of absolute auction contracts

On June 9, 2022, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously decided that attorney review period is not a required contractual provision for a residential real estate sale by absolute auction.
Read More
Supreme Court concludes that attorney review period is not a requirement of absolute auction contracts

It Depends on the Language – The Non-Disparagement Clause

How enforceable is a non-disparagement clause in an agreement? As is always the case with any contract or agreement, it depends on the language. On May 31, 2022, the Appellate Division
Read More
It Depends on the Language – The Non-Disparagement Clause

DCA Tries Again to Use RSIS to Limit Municipal Stormwater Controls

By Michele Donato, Esq. and Stuart Lieberman, Esq. In the 1990’s, developers claimed that municipal residential development ordinances lacked uniformity, increased development costs, and caused uncertainty in the development process. In
Read More
DCA Tries Again to Use RSIS to Limit Municipal Stormwater Controls

Previous Property Manager Charged with Embezzling and Laundering Stolen Funds from Hamilton Park CO-OP.

Nicolas DePaola of Ewing New Jersey was indicted on twelve charges for embezzling and laundering stolen money from his prior client, Hamilton Park CO-OP. On April 1, 2022, a Mercer
Read More
Previous Property Manager Charged with Embezzling and Laundering Stolen Funds from Hamilton Park CO-OP.

In The Media

  • Gulf Coast Town Center facing foreclosure

    Naples Daily News, September 16, 2015

    Wells Fargo filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 against an affiliate of CBL & Associates, the owners of the decadeold, 1.2 million-square-foot mall in south Fort Myers for a $190.9 million unpaid loan. The center has 94 stores on 204 acres, with such anchors as Super Target, Belk, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and Costco...

    Read More
  • Town liable for private company's leaking underground tanks, court rules

    NJ.com Jul 26, 2017

    CRANFORD -- A couple that owned a businesses in town and became sick from leaking underground tanks owned by an adjacent business can sue the township for damages because the tanks were partially ...

    Read More
  • Dark Waters: How a Class Action Catapulted NJ to Forefront of 'Forever Chemicals' Battle

    NJ Law Journal Jan 09, 2020

    As property owners become increasingly aware of PFAS contamination, and as individuals exposed to PFAS learn of the health risks associated with exposure, liability will likely affect entire supply chains.

    Read More
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
Contact Our Firm

Quick Contact Form