by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) Jan 25, 2017
Local authorities approved the largest offshore wind farm in the United States on Wednesday, to be located near Long Island and capable of powering some 50,000 households.
Construction on the site, which could begin by 2019, is set to install an initial 15 turbines with a capacity of 90 megawatts.
The South Fork Wind Farm will be located some 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of the tip of Long Island off Queens and Brooklyn.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who announced the initiative alongside the Long Island Power Authority, said the turbines would not be visible off the island's coast.
Project operator Deepwater Wind told AFP it aims to have the farm up and running by 2022, saying it had not yet decided on a manufacturer for the turbines.
South Fork will be only the second offshore wind farm in the United States. The first, located off Rhode Island's Block Island in the northeastern United States, has been operational since December.
Its five turbines -- manufactured in France by GE Renewable Energy -- provide energy to 17,000 homes on the island and across New England.
"There is a huge clean energy resource blowing off of our coastline just over the horizon, and it is time to tap into this unlimited resource to power our communities," Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski said in a statement.
The area where South Fork is located has the potential to host up to 1,000 megawatts of wind power, Cuomo said.
The New York governor has already committed to a target of generating 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind energy -- enough to power 1.25 million households -- by 2030.
According to the agreement between the Long Island Energy Authority and Deepwater Wind, the government will pay for the energy generated but none of the costs for the site's construction and management.
New York takes up state charge for renewable energy
The Board of Trustees of the Long Island Power Authority voted in favor of the 90-megawatt South Fork Wind Farm, which at peak capacity will be the largest in the nation and power up to 50,000 average households in the region. The state government said the consent is the first step toward developing up to 1,000 MW of offshore wind power.
"This bold action marks the next step in our unprecedented commitment to offshore wind, as well as our ambitious long term energy goal of supplying half of all electricity from renewable sources by 2030," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. "This project will not only provide a new, reliable source of clean energy, but will also create high-paying jobs, continue our efforts to combat climate change."
Cuomo committed the state to securing enough wind power by 2030 to meet the energy demands of 1.25 million average households, the largest commitment ever for offshore wind power so far in the United States.
The plans fell under a state offshore wind energy master plan and a broader state energy vision that calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and includes a $5 billion investment in clean-energy technology.
"This is what our clean energy future looks like," Kit Kennedy, the director of energy and transportation initiatives at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said
Cuomo's comments come as state leaders take the lead on climate change after President Donald Trump moved official policy away from precedent established by his predecessor, who last year signed on to the Paris climate agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In his State of the State address, California Gov. Jerry Brown said the White House can't change the science on climate issues. The governor said the science and dangers of climate change are real and it's now up to the states to lead.
"We can do much on our own and we can join with others - other states and provinces and even countries, to stop the dangerous rise in climate pollution," he said. "And we will."
Wind Energy News at Wind Daily
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