The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders has passed a resolution in support of the feasibility study Lacey Township is pursuing to determine the possibility of a new generation facility being built upon Oyster Creek’s closure in 2019.
“The resolution was supporting Lacey Township’s feasibility study,” county Administrator Carl Block said. “Certainly it seems as a lay person, that is a possibility to have a power plant there if it’s properly constructed and fits the site, et cetera.”
Lacey Township to perform a feasibility study for $22,500. The study will provide an assessment of existing conditions, development constraints and permitting requirements at 798 South Main St., which is currently owned by JCP&L.
Earlier this month, the township committee seeking the support from the freeholders to petition the Board of Public Utilities and the State’s Energy Master Plan Committee for a new power generation facility in Lacey.
The freeholders’ resolution, passed Wednesday, simply states that they support the “concept” of a feasibility study.
“They will most likely look for details and specifics before they go out and say they support that proposal (of a new plant),” Block said.
The feasibility study will allow the governing body to “ascertain if it’s appropriate use or location,” he said.
The study will answer any questions before the freeholders or Lacey Township decides to take the next step, he said.
Depending on the outcome of the study, Lacey will act first, Block said. “We’ll wait to hear from Lacey."
"What we're trying to do is get as much support as possible," Mayor Mark Dykoff said. "It's a feasibility study so nobody really knows ideally what's going to come from it.
"I'm just happy for any support that we get," he added. "Everyone wants to see Lacey Township and the county prosper. I'm confident once we get rolling, we'll get all the support we need."
Committeeman Dave Most, who has been the point man on securing a new plant for Lacey, said the township has always worked well with the Freeholders.
"We appreciate their support and have always respected their leadership in the past," he said.
The study will look at all different energy sources, he said. A new plant would need the support of all different agencies—local, county, state.
"I think the Freeholders understand the gap (base load and economic) that's going to happen," he said. "We have the infrastructure here in Lacey Township and we have to support it."
Freeholders John Kelly and Gerry Little did not return calls for comment.
The Freeholders' resolution is attached to this story as a PDF.