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Source: News 12 Long Island

Environmentalists, leaders question wind farm off Fire Island

Posted: March 13, 2017
Originally Published: March 12, 2017

Local environmentalists and community leaders are questioning a German company’s plan to build a wind farm off Fire Island.

According to the application, PNE Wind’s project would include placing 30 to 50 wind turbines in an area stretching from Bayport to Moriches. That area would begin more than 10 miles off of Fire Island.

The company has submitted an unsolicited bid to lease more than 40,000 acres for the 300- to 400-megawatt project called the NY4-Excelsior Wind Park.

PNE's website released images of what the turbines may look like. Adrienne Esposito, of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, believes that an offshore wind power is needed, but says it must be put in the right location.

"This particular area has not been studied like the other two areas, one off of Montauk and one off of Jones Beach,” says Esposito. “We need to make sure all of the areas are researched for bird migration, fish stock and bottom-dwelling life forms.”

Other than the cost, the effect on marine life and the Island's summer tourism are the main concerns for Massapequa civic leader Phil Healey when it comes to a project like this one.

"Just the fact of how much our economy is based on recreational fishing, recreational tourism, people who enjoy our beaches. It will have an effect -- it cannot not have an effect,” he says.

News 12 tried reaching out to the company for comment, but has not heard back yet.

According to the application, PNE is hoping for the project to be completed by 2027.