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New Year Brings Progress for Offshore Wind in New York State

Kit Kennedy

Posted January 3, 2013

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So far, 2013 is shaping up to be a good year for the launch of offshore wind in the United States.  Earlier this week, Congress extended important federal tax credits for the wind and offshore wind industries as part of the “fiscal cliff” deal.   And  today the federal government announced an important step forward for long-stalled plans to site a New York State offshore wind project.  This is great news for the future of offshore wind and renewable energy in New York and in our nation. 

 The proposed New York offshore wind project, which would be located in federal waters eleven miles south of Long Beach, Long Island, would generate at least 350 megawatts (MW) of electricity from offshore wind resources for the Long Island and New York City region, with the ability to expand generation capacity to as much as 700 MW - enough electricity to power an estimated 245,000  homes.  The proposed lease area is approximately 127 square miles.  The project is sponsored by a public-private offshore wind collaborative partnership between New York Power Authority, the Long Island Power Authority and Con Edison.

Through today's announcement, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which regulates offshore wind projects in federal waters, is checking to see if other developers may also be interested in leasing this site for an offshore wind project.   If, as is expected, there are not,  BOEM will lease the site to NYPA.  At that point, NYPA and its partners would propose a specific project and an exact site and there would be a full environmental review process for the project.

In addition to inquiring about competitive interest, BOEM is also seeking public comment on the proposal, its potential environmental consequences, and the use of the area in which the proposed project would be located.   Public comments are due March 6, 2013.   This is an important opportunity to tell the Obama Administration and New York State that there is strong support for sustainably sited offshore wind projects off New York State.

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Dave BradleyJan 4 2013 08:21 PM

See This wind project should have been done many years ago. Here is how it's getting done in Denmark, with a project (Anholt) about the size of the one proposed for NY: Oh well, at least we don't need to do the proverbial "inventing of the wheel" in NY State, as the offshore wind deployment is already quite a commercialized business, with over $16 billion already spent on this approach to clean energy... and lots more under construction/already committed.

Kit KennedyJan 5 2013 01:04 PM

Dave, I agree both that this project is way overdue and that the Danish experience with offshore wind is inspiring and instructive. I had the opportunity to go to Denmark with NRDC's President Frances Beinecke and other NRDC colleagues back in 2005 and had we toured several of their offshore wind projects. We talked to a range of stakeholders, including a mayor and a tourism director of a coastal town with an offshore wind project, government officials, executives at Vestas (the big offshore wind turbine manufacturer) and environmentalists. Their experiences
with offshore wind were uniformly positive.

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