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New Milestone for Offshore Wind Energy in NY

The first New York offshore wind farm will deliver enough electricity to power 70,000 homes on Long Island. (twixter/Adobe Stock)
The first New York offshore wind farm will deliver enough electricity to power 70,000 homes on Long Island. (twixter/Adobe Stock)
October 13, 2020

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York is one step closer to bringing the first offshore wind power to thousands of homes on Long Island.

The New York Department of Public Service and four other state agencies have signed a joint proposal on the siting of the transmission line that will connect an offshore wind farm to the Long Island Power Authority grid. The project is relatively small, bringing only 130 megawatts of power ashore.

But according to Joe Martens, director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance, the joint proposal is a significant milestone in reaching the state's goal of generating 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2035.

"This is important because it's really symbolic that the process is attainable, that the goal can be achieved, and the construction can actually start," Martens said.

Final state approval of the transmission line is expected within the next five months.

Construction of the transmission line can't begin until construction of the wind farm itself has been approved. Martens said those permit applications are being reviewed by the federal Bureau of Offshore Energy Management.

"The federal approvals we hope will also be rendered next year so the construction of the project could start in 2021," he said.

Construction of the wind farm is expected to create hundreds of new jobs and spur investment in ports and other vital infrastructure.

New York state is mandated to produce 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity within the next 20 years. And Martens said offshore wind will play a major role.

"Offshore wind is critical, and we need to get significant offshore wind in order to meet both the state's renewable-energy goal and its emission-free goal by 2040," he said.

Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed new regulations to speed up the siting and construction of major renewable-energy projects to help meet the state's clean-energy goals.

More information is available at NYserda.ny.gov.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY