It's Time to Say YES to Offshore Wind

New York is at an energy crossroads. We must choose between more fossil fuels that will leave us with a legacy of toxic pollution or a pollution-free, renewable energy future.  New York is considering multiple proposals to advance offshore wind farms.  It’s time to end Long Island’s continued reliance on dirty fossil fuels, and invest in responsibly sited offshore wind! While nearly 1,000 land-based wind turbines have been installed throughout the state, New York's offshore wind energy potential is completely untapped.  But that can change, as New York has vast offshore wind energy potential.

The U.S. Department of Energy has a goal of 54,000 MW (megawatts) of offshore wind energy by 2030, largely focusing on the Great Lakes and Atlantic Ocean, which could:

  • Generate enough electricity to power over 20 million homes;
  • Generate $200 billion in new economic activity;
  • Create 43,000 permanent, high-paying jobs; and
  • Displace 140 million tons of carbon dioxide, the chief pollutant responsible for climate change


In response to Long Islanders’ demands for clean power, last year the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) committed to purchasing 280 MW of new renewable energy—enough to power 150,000 homes. The LIPA Board of Trustees is expected to decide on this new power source by the end of the year. It is critical that LIPA not delay and move forward with New York’s first offshore wind farm!

Viable projects to develop offshore wind energy have been proposed, including a wind farm planned for 30 miles off of Montauk. This wind farm, which would not be visible from shore, could supply Long Island with up to 240 MW of clean, renewable energy—enough to power 120,000 homes!


  • Offshore wind will stabilize energy costs and diversify LI's energy supply: At present, 97% of Long Island’s electricity comes from fossil fuel sources. While the cost of fossil fuels is volatile and increasing, the cost of offshore wind is declining and will be fixed and guaranteed for the duration of the power purchase agreement (often 20 years).
  • Offshore wind will reduce dangerous emissions: Transitioning to clean, offshore wind energy will keep our families safer by reducing dangerous emissions. The wind farm proposed off of Montauk would displace over 1.7 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Not only will this help to avoid future climate-fueled disasters like Superstorm Sandy, but it will protect public health by reducing other harmful pollutants, such as mercury.
  • Offshore wind creates sustainable, green jobs: Offshore wind can create tens of thousands of new jobs, attract new manufacturing industries, and be a substantial economic driver for New York. Developing offshore wind will bring jobs in construction, manufacturing, marine biology, engineering, and in the legal, environmental and professional service sectors on Long Island.
  • Offshore wind provides reliable energy where and when we need it most: Europe has been successfully harnessing the power of offshore wind for more than 20 years.Wind resources over the oceans are stronger and more consistent than onshore, meaning offshore wind can generate more electricty.  Offshore wind power is strongest in the summer months and in the afternoons, which is precisely when Long Islanders use the most electricity.

HOW YOU CAN HELP! We need to send a strong message on NY’s clean energy future. There are two ways you can help:

1. Write to Governor Cuomo, LIPA Chairman Suozzi, and Public Service Commission (PSC) Director Bovey:

  • Urge Governor Cuomo to move ahead with responsibly sited offshore wind in New York! Offshore wind is a viable, clean alternative to dirty fossil fuels.
  • Urge LIPA Chairman Suozzi and PSC Director Bovey to move forward with 280 MW of renewable energy for Long Island! Tell them Long Islanders prefer clean, renewable, large-scale offshore wind power over fossil fuels.
  • Ask for a response in writing, informing you of their position.
  • Remember to include your name, address, and email address in your letter!

    Write to:

  1. Honorable Andrew Cuomo, New York State Governor, Executive Chamber, NYS Capitol, Albany, NY 12224
  2. Ralph Suozzi, LIPA Chairman, OMNI Building, 333 Earle Ovington Blvd., Uniondale, NY 11553
  3. Julia Bovey, Director, Dept. of Public Service, Long Island Office, 125 East Bethpage Road, Plainview, NY 11803

2. Attend the "Let's Turn, Not Burn" Rally for Renewables at the LIPA Board Meeting on Thursday, October 30th, 2014

On Thursday, October 30, the LIPA Board will hold a final meeting before making its decision on whether to move forward on a major investment in offshore wind. CCE will be delivering thousands of petitions as well as letters of support from our elected officials. There will be an opportunity for members of the public to make comments. Your voice is needed to make sure Governor Cuomo and the LIPA Board keep their promise to Long Islanders to invest in renewable energy by moving forward with offshore wind now.

When: Thursday, October 30, 2014, 10:00am Where: LIPA HQ, 333 Earle Ovington Blvd, Uniondale, NY


Check the Facebook event page for updates!

Tips for Making Comments:

  • Urge the LIPA Board to act on the renewable energy RFP by December! Long Island must move forward with clean, renewable offshore wind energy.
  • Mention that offshore wind is a viable, clean alternative to dirty fossil fuels.
  • Tell the Board that building a large scale offshore wind project will attract new businesses, create jobs, and grow our economy while providing Long Island with clean, reliable power.


PSEG-LI's Utility 2.0: A vision for the "utility of the future"or business as usual?

This summer, PSEG-LI released "Utility 2.0," the utility's long-awaited Long Range Plan for renewable energy on Long Island. While PSEG-LI’s commitment to invest in energy efficiency and solar as well as steps to cut unnecessary electric use at peak times is a good start, the Plan fails to provide a necessary clean energy vision for Long Island’s future.  Long Islanders want and need a plan that facilitates the transition from a carbon-intensive, fossil powered economy to a low-carbon economy dependent on large-scale renewable energy sources, like offshore wind. Saddling Long Islanders to more of the same, more fossil fuels and more excuses to wait is not the long range plan we hoped for.  The discussion of transitioning from fossil fuels to cleaner, renewable energy has been taking place for years.  The time for implementation is now. Moreover, the plan lacks a clear blueprint with aggressive, yet achievable goals. Long Island needs a new energy vision.  An energy vision that will set us apart and make us a leader in combating climate change, reducing toxins, and investing in clean, safe renewable energy.  Our energy plan needs to be both a vision and a road map to achieving our goals.  Setting long-term goals is critical to maximizing Long Island’s efficiency and renewable energy potential, while demonstrating to the industry that New York is open for business.

1. What about climate change? Considering that the electricity sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions on Long Island, it’s frustrating that climate change is mentioned only once in this 96 page document. In Dave Daly’s cover letter he states that the plan, “seek(s) to align with the energy policy and initiatives supported by the Authority, DPS, and the government of the State of New York.” Why, then, is there no mention of either the State’s goal of 80% GHG reductions economy wide by 2050, or the interim goal of 50% by 2030? What is PSEG-LI’s envisioned role in working to reach NYS’s GHG reduction goals?  Utility 2.0 should define the Utility’s role in combating climate change and should offer a clear blueprint for meeting the State’s GHG reduction goals.

2. Where’s our wind? Large scale offshore wind power needs to play a significant role in Long Island’s energy future.  We need to stop talking about it and start implementing it. Despite the fact that an entire section of this plan is devoted to addressing load constraints on the South Fork, the Plan is silent on large scale offshore wind. Since PSEG-LI will be assuming planning responsibilities for power procurement within six months, it is extremely concerning that there is no discussion of the various proposed offshore wind projects.

A 900 MW wind farm planned for 30 miles off of Montauk has very real potential to feed a growing and hungry Suffolk County market if it leads to a power purchase agreement in 2014. Power from this wind farm is currently planned to go to Rhode Island but LI can tap into this resource if PSEG has the political will to do so.  In order to move away from fossil fuels and to fulfill New York State’s commitment to renewable energy generation, this Long Range plan must embrace offshore wind as a key part of Long Island’s sustainable energy future.

3. Solar:  We are making progress on solar—but we can do more. According to a recently released report issued by The Solar Foundation, New York State ranks fifth in the nation in solar energy jobs, up from seventh place last year. Due in large part to NY-SUN programs, the state has created over 5,000 jobs in the solar industry, with the potential to grow as more investment in the solar market continues. The Plan should make increasing solar a priority—and not just residential solar, but commercial solar as well. We have a lot of flat roofs on Long Island.  Let’s put those flat roofs to good use, while investing in local jobs and small businesses.

4. Let’s start a Green Roofs for Long Island program. Green roofs serve several purposes for a building, such as absorbing rainwater, providing insulation, creating a habitat for wildlife, and helping to lower urban air temperatures and mitigate the heat island effect.  Green roofs are becoming common in Chicago, as well as in Atlanta, Portland, and other United States cities, where their use is encouraged by regulations to combat the urban heat-island effect. In the case of Chicago, the city has passed codes offering incentives to builders who put green roofs on their buildings. It has been estimated that if all the roofs in a major city were greened, urban temperatures could be reduced by as much as 7 degrees Celsius. Green roofs can also reduce heat loss and energy consumption in winter conditions.

This plan was supposed to put forth a vision for the “utility of the future.” Instead we got more of the same. Business-as-usual is not the solution Long Islanders are looking for. And it is certainly not a vision for the future. PSEG-LI can continue to kick the can down the road for a few more years and watch as we fall behind and fail to meet state policy goals for reducing carbon emissions—or we can hit the reset button.  Planning is important, stalling is crippling. Long Island has been planning for far too long.  This is an opportunity to provide a better life for Long Islanders, now and in the future, and for PSEG-LI to become a leader and symbol of what it means to embrace a clean energy economy in the millennium. Let’s not let it become a missed opportunity.