Coastal Long Island Offers a Great Opportunity for Offshore Wind Power
Submitted by Elizabeth Mooney on Thu, 2012-08-09 15:06.
Buffeted by high winds and high electricity rates, Long Island's shallow coastal waters provide a promising opportunity for a green powerhouse, participants at the recent Offshore Wind in 2012 forum concluded.
"The economies haven't been there. The siting issues have been intense," said Pete Grannis, a former commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
A project off of Cape Cod in Massachusetts has been approved, and the federal government is handling permits for many more offshore proposals. The Long Island Power Authority is considering two offshore wind projects for the area - a 700 megawatt joint venture between LIPA, the New York Power Authority and Consolidated Edison and Deepwater Wind‘s proposal for a 900-megawatt wind farm 30 miles east of Montauk.
"We're at a crossroads here. New York and Long Island are making critical energy decisions," said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment. "What will we choose? What will be our future energy on Long Island? We're making those decisions now."
Esposito said gas and oil generate 39 percent of the electricity in New York, while nuclear power generates 30 percent, coal generates 10 percent, hydropower generates 18 percent and renewables such as wind and solar produce a meager 2-3 percent.
"Once you build the thing, the wind is essentially free. There are maintenance costs, but not fuel costs," said Peter Gollon, energy chairman for the Long Island chapter of the Sierra Club. "Tell me how much natural gas is going to cost a year from now or 10 years from now. This gives us a predictable supply of energy."
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