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Source: Montauk Patch

Governor Cuomo Calls on LIPA to Approve Offshore Wind Project Southeast of Montauk

"It took 20 years of advocating for offshore wind, but we finally got to 'yes'!" Adrienne Esposito, Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

BY LISA FINN (PATCH STAFF)

Posted: January 11, 2017
Originally Published: January 10, 2017

MONTAUK, NY — It was a win for environmentalists as New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo called on the Long Island Power Authority Tuesday to approve a 90-megawatt offshore wind project 30 miles southeast of Montauk.

The project will be the nation's largest offshore wind farm and will not be visible from Long Island's beaches, Cuomo said.

The governor also proposed a commitment to develop up to 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, enough power generation for 1.25 million homes and the largest commitment in United States history, he said.

An Offshore Wind Master Plan will outline the plans and next steps and will be completed by the end of 2017, Cuomo said.

"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 said.

"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," he added.

Offshore wind, Cuomo said, is critical to meeting the goals outlined in the Governor's Clean Energy Standard to meet 50 percent of New York's electricity needs with renewable sources by 2030.

Cuomo also directed the Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to undertake a comprehensive study to determine the "most rapid, cost-effective, and responsible pathway" to reach 100 percent renewable energy statewide.

New York State "will engage academic partners to draw upon existing clean energy research and seek input from other key stakeholders," he said.

The 90 megawatt development 30 miles southeast of Montauk, "is the first step toward developing an area that can host up to 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind power. In an indication of offshore wind's growing attractiveness as a power source, the proposed project is the most innovative and least costly way to meet the growing power needs of the South Fork and to provide cleaner energy for Long Island," Cuomo said.

The Long Island Power Authority has indicated that contract negotiations are close to final, and the project will be voted on at its January meeting, Cuomo said.

Sid Nathan, LIPA Director of Communications, told Patch that LIPA is not providing any further comment at this time.

Cuomo called on LIPA "to vote to approve the project and ensure it is developed responsibly and cost-effectively for all stakeholders," a release said.

According to Cuomo, "With some of the most favorable conditions for offshore wind in the United States, the coast of Long Island has the potential to bring an enormous amount of renewable energy, and substantial job creation and economic development benefits to all New Yorkers."

Of the Offshore Wind Master Plan, a release said, "The plan will establish a commitment for the responsible development of New York's offshore wind resources in ways that benefit electricity customers and protect the environment. Offshore wind will protect the environment by reducing emissions and spur new investments in infrastructure and manufacturing, creating high-quality jobs across the state."

New York State will ensure that the visual impacts of offshore wind turbines will be minimized through appropriate siting, and new offshore wind turbine foundation technologies will allow construction in deeper water, further offshore and out of sight lines from the coast, Cuomo said.

Environmentalists applauded the news Tuesday. "It took 20 years of advocating for offshore wind, but we finally got to 'yes'!" said Adrienne Esposito, executive director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment."Wind power is no longer a technology for tomorrow but rather it’s a technology for today.

Offshore wind power provides us a real foundation for reaching our renewable energy goals and transitioning away from fossil fuels, she added.

"CCE applauds Governor Cuomo for his commitment to advancing offshore wind and to fighting climate change. Today’s commitment to offshore wind cements New York’s position as a renewable energy leader and ensures we will continue to move forward with projects that mitigate climate change, stabilize the rate base and protect our coastal communities while providing good, local jobs for Long Islanders. There are moments in time when one decision can change our future for the better — this is one of those moments. Today’s announcement gives us cause for celebration," Esposito said.