New York is readying the release of its wind energy draft blueprint and should be released in the coming weeks...
A New York utility plans to approve a wind farm off eastern Long Island that it says would be the nation’s largest offshore wind energy project built to date.
The project would be the first phase of a more ambitious effort to construct hundreds of electricity-producing turbines in the Atlantic Ocean in the coming years.
The announcement that the Long Island Power Authority plans to approve a proposed 90-megawatt, 15-turbine wind farm in U.S. waters east of Montauk at a meeting next week was greeted enthusiastically by energy experts, elected officials and environmentalists.
“This is obviously an important development,” said Jeffrey Firestone, a professor at the University of Delaware and an expert on offshore wind. “Hopefully, this will be something toward facilitating a more regional approach to the need for offshore wind energy.”
The U.S. lags behind Europe and others in development of offshore wind energy because of regulatory hurdles and opposition from fossil fuel and fishing interests, among other challenges. Many wind farms in Europe are already producing hundreds of megawatts of power.
The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has issued several leases for wind projects along the Atlantic coast, but none have come to fruition yet. LIPA said its project would be the next one built after one opens near Block Island, Rhode Island, later this year.
“This is the first in New York, it’s the largest to date, but we’re looking at this and seeing a tremendous offshore wind resource that will be developed and it’s not the last,” LIPA chief executive officer Thomas Falcone said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday.
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