Cohocton Wind Watch: Wind Farm Site Considered 10 Miles From Queens Shore
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wind Farm Site Considered 10 Miles From Queens Shore

Has the economic or political climate changed for wind power on Long Island? The Long Island Power Authority hopes so.

A year after the authority withdrew its proposal to build an $800 million offshore wind farm near Jones Beach, it said Tuesday that it would look into building a potentially larger wind farm 10 miles off the south shore of Queens.

The authority will work with Con Edison, which has never before proposed a wind-power project, to study the economic feasibility over the next few months. If they decide it makes sense to build an offshore wind farm, the utilities would ask builders for proposals, the authority said. The project would take several years to plan, finance and complete.

“If this is doable, we and Con Edison can share the cost and the power,” said Kevin S. Law, the authority’s chief executive, who also serves on Gov. David A. Paterson’s renewable energy task force. “If we could make this big enough, we could send power east and west.”

The bulk of the wind turbines in New York have been installed upstate, and many have received state and federal subsidies. Because of congestion in the state’s electrical grid, it is economically impractical to transport much of that power south to New York City and Long Island.

Building wind turbines on Long Island is another option, but there is little suitable open space. Long Island Sound was considered, but it was deemed not windy enough, Mr. Law said.

The power authority’s announcement, which was first reported by Newsday, comes a month after Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said the city would ask industry experts to submit ideas for putting turbines off New York’s shores and atop its skyscrapers.

Industry experts say offshore wind farms are rare in North America because of the difficulty of finding suitable locations, the cost of running transmission lines to shore, and the thicket of environmental regulations. Shipping lanes also need to be considered, as well as a shortage of equipment available to plant turbines in deep water.

Nearby residents often object to offshore turbines because of aesthetic concerns, as was the case with the Jones Beach proposal, which also exceeded initial cost estimates.

Still, Governor Paterson said in a statement on Tuesday that a big offshore wind farm would create new jobs and more renewable energy at a time of rising fuel prices.

Speaking later Tuesday, he suggested that the project could be eligible for state subsidies.

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