The Long Island – New York City Offshore Wind Project is underway as federal and state officials meet for the first time after months of planning.
The renewable energy task force, comprising representatives of N.Y. Governor David Paterson, the Bureau of Ocean Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) and others, are preparing to lease areas of the state to develop offshore wind turbines.
“We will continue to work together to initiate the commercial leasing process that will enable New York to meet its renewable energy development goals and expand our nation’s energy resource portfolio,” BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich said.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg applied for a lease from BOEMRE over the summer to increase energy efficiency as part of the city’s goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030.
“Beginning the process of leasing the land beneath the ocean will get us closer to developing power from the Long Island – New York City offshore wind farm, which when built will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and promote economic development,” he said.
The task force will lease an area off the Rockaway Peninsula about 13 to 15 standard miles (14 nautical miles) south of Nassau County, according to the Long Island – New York City Offshore Wind Project website.
The 25-year lease will cost $200,000 per year.
The LI – NYC Offshore Wind Project is a collaboration among New York state and city governments and private and public utility providers including the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Con Edison. Click here to view the joint feasibility study between Con Edison and LIPA.
Its aim is to construct turbines that will generate 350 to 700 megawatts (MW) of energy and will potentially become the nation’s largest offshore wind project.
A 350 MW wind facility operating at 40 percent produces enough energy for about 112,000 homes, according to the Long Island – New York City Offshore Wind Project website. The same wind facility would displace an estimated 540,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, the same as taking 120,000 cars off local roads, according to the New York Public Service Commission.
The wind project has received support from many of the state’s officials, including Chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY) Nancy L. Zimpher.
“Governor Paterson’s focus on a clean energy economy is aligned with the priorities in SUNY’s strategic plan … and SUNY looks forward to continuing to partner with the state and industry to leverage these critical [energy] assets,” she said.
A design professor at the City University of New York (CUNY), also a supporter, recently received $12,500 from the Economic Development Corporation to build a small-scale wind project in Red Hook, Brooklyn as a test site. Click here to read the full article.
The number of turbines the state plans to construct and the massive size of each turbine demand an offshore location. Studies made by the LI – NYC Offshore Wind Project say the wind project’s damage to the marine environment will be negligible.
The exact location of the project is still unknown, but nearby residents and visitors of the Rockaway Peninsula may get a new addition to their ocean views and sounds.
Rockaway Beach in N.Y. attracts more than four million people a year.
Massachusetts is the first state to house an offshore wind farm, approved by the Obama administration earlier this year. Many Cape Cod residents have been vocal against the construction of wind turbines, criticizing their noise and unsightly landscape.
What comes next
The wind project will start operations at 350 MW and increase to 700 MW, anticipated to begin service around 2015 but possibly extending to 2016 or 2017 depending on the permit process. The exact cost of the project is still unknown but is estimated around $415 million for a 350 MW turbine project. As upgrades are made to 700 MW, the project will cost an additional $406 million.
The New York Power Authority continues to explore additional offshore wind projects around the New York state area in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
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