ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A plan to build windmills off the New Jersey coast that has already burned through nearly $11 million and remains dead in the water is being cut off from further government funding.

The U.S. Department of Energy says Fishermen’s Energy failed to meet a Dec. 31 deadline to have a power purchase agreement in place.

The department is revoking most of the $47 million in funding it pledged to the project in 2014; about $10.6 million has been spent already on preliminary work.

The project would have involved building six windmills about 3 miles off the coast of Atlantic City, which could have generated enough electricity to power 15,000 homes.

In a written statement to The Associated Press on Tuesday, the Energy Department said the Atlantic City project missed a key deadline.

“Under the Energy Department’s award, Fishermen’s Energy must have secured a power off-take agreement by December 31 to be eligible for another round of funding,” the department said. “The criteria were not met by that date, so we have initiated the close-out process for the project.”


Company CEO Chris Wissemann said Fishermen’s Energy hopes a last-ditch effort to secure a power deal will succeed. But if it doesn’t, he says the company will wait until New Jersey officials adopt friendlier policies toward wind energy development.

“We sincerely appreciate the support of the DOE over the past few years seeking to drive down the cost of offshore wind and bring this job intensive industry to the U.S.,” he told the AP on Tuesday. “We will continue to seek a customer for our power so that we can eventually build the project, hopefully working with the DOE. We have a short period of time to complete a Hail Mary pass.”

Wissemann said the company will try to keep the project viable even without the federal funding, even if that means waiting until a new administration is in place next year in Trenton after the departure of Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Rhode Island recently opened a wind farm off Block Island, becoming first in a market that New Jersey had once hoped to lead.

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