Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, D-N.Y., has called on the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to approve what would be the nation’s largest offshore wind farm. In addition, the governor has proposed a commitment to develop up to 2.4 GW of offshore wind off the coast of New York by 2030.
Deepwater Wind’s proposed 90 MW South Fork project would be situated roughly 30 miles southeast of Montauk, N.Y. According to a press release from Cuomo, LIPA has indicated that contract negotiations are close to being completed, and the project will be voted on at its January meeting.
According to the governor, the 2.4 MW offshore wind proposal represents the largest offshore wind commitment in U.S. history and would produce projects that could power 1.25 million homes. The projects, developed out of view from the coast, would be assessed in close collaboration with local communities and stakeholders. The Offshore Wind Master Plan will outline the path forward for this commitment and will be completed by the end of 2017.
“New York’s unparalleled commitment to offshore wind power will create new, high-paying jobs; reduce our carbon footprint; establish a new, reliable source of energy for millions of New Yorkers; and solidify New York’s status as a national clean energy leader,” Cuomo says. “The Offshore Wind Master Plan will establish a bold strategy to harness this untapped resource in New York and provide a new source of energy to power a brighter, greener future for all.”
The press release notes that offshore wind is critical to meeting the goal outlined in the governor’s Clean Energy Standard to have 50% of New York’s electricity be powered with renewable sources by 2030.
Cuomo is also calling on state agencies to ensure a 79,000-acre lease area capable of siting approximately 800 MW of offshore wind off the Rockaway Peninsula is developed cost-effectively and responsibly for customers. In December, Statoil Wind US LLC won an auction from the federal government to lease the area for wind energy development.
In addition, Cuomo is directing the Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to undertake a comprehensive study to determine the best way to reach 100% renewable energy statewide. The state will engage academic partners to draw upon existing clean energy research and seek input from other key stakeholders.
For the Statoil project specifically, the governor is calling on NYSERDA to work with the company to ensure the project delivers power cost-effectively and responsibly. NYSERDA will also help ensure the needs of affected stakeholders such as fishermen, maritime industries and coastal communities are met.
Applauding the governor’s announcements, Liz Gordon, director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance, says, “The governor’s powerful endorsement will spur billions in investment; create thousands of skilled jobs; and generate clean, affordable and reliable electricity for New York.”
“The myriad benefits of offshore wind power have attracted the vocal support of a broad, diverse and growing coalition that unites business, labor, environmentalists, developers, academics, community leaders and environmental justice advocates,” she continues. “It’s rare that you see all these different interests coming together in support of a common goal, but today this alliance jointly and enthusiastically cheers Gov. Cuomo’s strong commitment to offshore wind development in New York.”
Just yesterday, Cuomo announced the closure of a 2 GW nuclear power plant in New York by April 2021. Renewable energy advocates applauded the decision and said it could provide an opportunity to further bolster solar and wind energy, including offshore wind.