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Wind energy companies off to slow start in New Jersey

Starting a new business, especially in a developing field, can be a difficult venture. When this business also involves licensing or regulatory compliance at either the state or the federal levels, the task becomes much more complex. However, with the right expertise, business formation can be a well-managed, efficient and profitable endeavor.

On the other hand, when business formation issues are not properly handled, a business can fail before it has really even begun. In New Jersey, some start-up corporations hoping to develop wind farms off the Jersey Shore have stalled. In some cases, these delays have had serious repercussions for the companies.

One company, NRG Bluewater Wind, intended to build a collection of wind turbines off the shores of New Jersey. These turbines could produce power for the Atlantic Seaboard. In 2008, NRG Bluewater Wind was approved to get $4 million in financing from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. This money was to be used to study wind conditions offshore. After requesting extensions and general inaction, the BPU started to take back some of the money it had offered NRG Bluewater Wind. Finally, in early October 2012, the BPU removed all funding from the company. By all estimates, NRG Bluewater Wind is no longer a viable company.

However, other companies have had success in starting the process of building these turbines off of the Jersey Shore. One company, Fisherman’s Energy, was able to deploy a buoy system to start studying weather conditions. This project was partially funded by the state. If successfull, Fisherman’s Energy may eventually be able to harvest wind power.

Even smaller businesses with fewer technological and regulation concerns can benefit from proper management of its start-up. From picking the right entity to leasing property to negotiating employees’ contracts, businesses need to make sure the right steps are taken to become successful in the long term.

Source: The Star-Ledger, “Offshore wind farm plans for NJ blown up and down,” Eliot Caroom, Oct. 8, 2012

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