Feds identify offshore wind farm site

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“The announcement today from BOEM is an important step to moving offshore wind forward for New York,” Lisa Dix, senior New York representative for the Sierra Club, said in a statement. “Governor Cuomo demonstrated real climate leadership by vetoing the dangerous and dirty Port Ambrose LNG terminal proposal that was in direct conflict with clean, renewable offshore wind. The governor should continue to build on his climate and renewable energy legacy, and work with the federal government and New York City to act this year to harness the massive clean, renewable, job-creating offshore wind energy right off New York’s shores.”

It could be a decade before any wind turbines are built, however, thanks to a lengthy review and approval process, including a series of public hearings.

“Although the length of time varies for each specific project, from start to finish it can take about 10 years to complete the planning, leasing and site-assessment phases and to conduct the required environmental consultations and environmental review,” said Tracey Blythe Moriarty, a BOEM spokeswoman. “Turbines would only be constructed after the necessary regulatory and environmental review steps are completed, and if a [construction and operations plan] is approved by BOEM.”

In 2011, the New York Power Authority submitted an application for a commercial wind lease. At the time, NYPA proposed installing up to 194 wind turbines in that area, each generating 3.6 megawatts of wind energy that would contribute to the creation of up to 700 megawatts of power for Long Island and the metropolitan area.

Next steps

Now that the site has been selected, the BOEM will conduct an environmental assessment to determine the potential impact of issuing a lease, Moriarty said.

NYPA would still be permitted to participate in a competitive bidding process, she said, adding that other developers have expressed interest since BOEM issued a Request for Interest and other notices beginning in 2013. The agency also held numerous “stakeholder meetings” and worked with its New York Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force to gather data and information about the area.
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