New York to build 2400 MW of offshore wind by 2030

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Just one day after announcing the closure of one of the state’s biggest nuclear power plants, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put forward a grand plan to build 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, beginning with a 90 megawatt (MW) project off the coast of Long Island.

In one of a series of speeches of his unconventional “State of the State” tour, Gov. Cuomo urged the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to approve a proposed wind farm sited 30 miles off of Montauk on the southeastern tip of Long Island. Once constructed, the project will be the largest offshore wind farm in the country. The first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States, Deepwater Wind’s 30 MW Block Island wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island, began operation in December.

Gov. Cuomo also announced a commitment to develop 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, enough to power 1.25 million homes. The commitment to offshore wind is part of the governor’s plan to meet New York’s Clean Energy Standard (CES), which aims to supply 50 percent of the state’s electricity with renewable sources by 2030.

In addition to the Long Island project, the governor also referenced a second offshore wind project proposed for an area about 20 miles south of the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, which would provide about 800 MW of wind power. Gov. Cuomo said the area off the coast of Montauk could ultimately be home to 1,000 MW of offshore wind power.

“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,” Gov. Cuomo said.

The announcement came one day after Cuomo said that Entergy had agreed to close down its Indian Point nuclear power plant, located less than 40 miles outside New York City. The closure of Indian Point may put the state in a bind in terms of how it plans to meet the CES, as the nuclear plant was a large contributor of carbon-free energy for the state.

One option peddled by environmentalists and green energy advocates is a new $2.2 billion transmission project, which is slated to be finished by 2021. The Champlain Hudson Power Express project, as it is known, will bring 1,000 MW of hydropower from Canada to New York City via underground high-voltage direct-current cables.

The increased interest in offshore wind power has been largely credited to the extension of the wind production tax credit last year. So far, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has granted 11 commercial leases for offshore wind development, with areas off the Atlantic coast designated as prime slots.

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