Claims that the New York Power Authority is secretive about the process for identifying the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project are unfounded. Plenty of information is available and it's easy to find. For potential lake locations, project sizes, environmental issues and much more, go to www.nypa.gov/NYPAwindpower/GreatLakesWind.htm. This website has been up since April 2009 and is updated frequently. That's hardly a way to keep a secret.
NYPA's commitment to sharing information is also seen through numerous meetings, including those with Sen. George Maziarz's staff and the editors at the Democrat and Chronicle; about 500 news items; and responses to 200-plus e-mails, faxes, phone calls and letters.
Fair, objective, completely impartial and without outside influences — like lobbyists and blog writers — is the way NYPA is reviewing proposals for the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project. Right now, there is no identified project, so there are no details. On the subject of proposals, the disclosure of bid information before one or more is identified for possible construction jeopardizes NYPA's efforts to secure the best project price and compromises a fair review for all bidders.
NYPA is in the midst of a rigorous and thorough evaluation process for each proposal. When and if a project or projects are identified, NYPA has continually indicated that there will be an open and transparent disclosure of what the public wants to know. But it doesn't end there.
No quick decision will be made on moving forward. That takes time and includes extensive input from the public.
There will be a multi-year review by many federal and state environmental and regulatory entities, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the U.S. Coast Guard; the Federal Aviation Agency; the New York Department of Environmental Conservation; the New York Department of State; and the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, to name just a few. In-depth field studies of the wind, lake bottom, birds, bats, radar, icing and much more must be undertaken before a single turbine is built.
We appreciate those who are waiting, without pre-judging any project, as NYPA completes its review. They have shown the courage needed to realize New York's environmental goals and to bring the jobs and economic benefits that come with developing clean wind energy.