An offshore wind farm 13 miles off the coast of Long Island could provide as much as 700 megawatts (MW) of power, while helping New York State meet its goal of providing 30% of electricity from renewables by 2015.
Since 1 MW supplies electricity for about 1000 homes, 700 MW would provide electricity for 700,000 homes!
NY authorities plan to build an offshore wind farm that will initially generate up to 350 MW and grow to as much as 700 MW.
A unit of NY’s utility Consolidated Edison has joined with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) in submitting a lease application to the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), since the farm would be built in federal waters.
The project, which industry experts say will cost from $2 billion to $4 billion to build, could create up to $2.7 billion in new economic activity by adding 2,300 to 4,700 wind jobs during construction and 85-170 permanent jobs (depending on its size).
Since project development began in 2008, more than 30 wind developers and other companies have expressed interest in developing the facility.
This is the second go-round for a wind farm off the coast of Long Island. A previous, much smaller 140 MG project was abandoned because of escalating costs.
The lease applicants say this project "can be economically productive, environmentally responsible, and technically feasible."
There is not a single offshore wind farm in the US yet, but the Dept of Energy (DOE) and many states are working hard to change that. Several offshore farms are working their way through the permitting process on the East Coast.
BOEMRE has prioritized 550 square miles off the coast of New Jersey as prime for development.
Earlier this month, DOE earmarked $43 million for 41 offshore wind projects in 20 states to speed technical innovations, lower costs, and shorten the timeline for deploying wind farms at sea.
Over the next five years, 19 projects will receive $26.5 million to address technical challenges with a goal of improving the cost-competitiveness of the US offshore wind industry.
Projects include research and development on key components, such as floating support structures and turbine rotor and control subsystems, that could lead to capital cost reductions of up to 50%, DOE says.
22 so-called "market barrier removal projects" will receive $16.5 million to research factors limiting deployment of offshore wind in the nation’s coastal and Great Lakes regions.