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Energy reform, particularly offshore wind farms, has been an uphill climb for the past six years. The timeline below highlights a few major turning points in the push for offshore wind farms.

In August of 2010, when Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie was first elected, signed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act. This act was able to direct the development of a tool to require companies to sell their electricity so they could obtain portions of the electricity from offshore wind farms (not yet put in place). This plan, in theory was a good idea. It gave the owners of the wind farms guaranteed buyers so they would not need to worry about selling their wind generated power.

However, about a year later in 2011, Christie revisited the state's energy plan. By doing this, he emphasized that "any offshore wind project must clear a high hurdle." This statement shows the beginning of Christie fighting wind farms off the New Jersey coast. However, in the same year applications for offshore wind projects were released. Several companies jumped at the opportunity, the first of which being Deepwater Wind and Fishermen's energy.

Between 2011 and 2013 the fight for wind power raged on. In March of 2014 the Board of Public Utilities rejected a project saying "ratepayers could have been on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars." Governor Chris Christie's explains his moving away from offshore wind farm energy as "not financially viable at this point." He said the project relied too heavily on unsecured federal grants, and that its backers demonstrated "a lack of financial integrity" during the lengthy application process.

On November 10, 2015 two leases were awarded, vía auction, to RES America Inc. and U.S. Wind Inc. as provisional winners who paid $880,715 and $1,006,240, respectively, for the leases. New Jersey hoped to have 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2020, a goal it will not meet given the lack of movement

In New Jersey, one main source of frustration among offshore-wind supporters is the fact that Christie has failed to come up with a financing plan to help pay for the wind farms. The state Board of Public Utilities was supposed to adopt regulations to do so in 2011, but never has.

As we can see, wind power has been fought by the New Jersey government of the past five years. Politics create a difficult path for energy reform, however, at least we are moving in the right direction. I believe that any move to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy is a step in the right direction

Star-Ledger, Alexi Friedman | The. "NJ Rejects 3-year Effort to Install Wind Farm off Atlantic City Coast." NJ.com. N.p., 19 Mar. 2014. Web. 02 Oct. 2016.

Johnson, Tom. "Energy & Environment." New Jersey's First Two Offshore Wind Leases Go to High Bidders in Auction. N.p., 10 Nov. 2015. Web. 02 Oct. 2016.

Johnson, Tom. "Energy & Environment." New Jersey's First Two Offshore Wind Leases Go to High Bidders in Auction. N.p., 10 Nov. 2015. Web. 02 Oct. 2016.

Reference no: EM131231713

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