Library filed under Offshore Wind from New York
Feds sought to help New York's wind initiatives
The Trustees are expected to hold an executive session during a meeting next Monday to discuss hiring special counsel to represent the body in negotiations over a community benefits package being floated by Deepwater Wind in connection to a request by the firm to land the South Fork Wind Farm power cable off Beach Lane in Wainscott. In order to do that, Deepwater Wind needs to secure easements from both the East Hampton Town Board and East Hampton Town Trustees.
New York state ratepayers will pick up the tab for the Cuomo Administration’s multi-billion dollar plan to jump-start the offshore wind industry, but most won’t benefit from the energy produced. Only consumers in Long Island and New York City will be able to access the wind-powered energy that’s going to be generated in the waters off the state’s Atlantic coast in the years to come.
The East Hampton Town Board last week pledged to grant Deepwater Wind an easement to lay power cables beneath town roads between Wainscott and a power substation off Buell Lane near East Hampton Village.
“They are stealing our fishing grounds by placing them on our place of work. They are industrializing the ocean floor,” said Bonnie Brady, the executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association. ...Any discussion about mitigating the effect the wind turbines have on fish so they can coexist is ludicrous. “It’s like putting a junkyard in the middle of a farm field,” he said. “The noise and sounds aren’t natural to what has been going on for a million years.”
Representatives of the commercial fishing industry worried about the potential impact on their industry if the federal government selects sites off eastern Long Island's southern coast for wind farm development.
Governor asks feds for six-month extension to assess impact of offshore wind farms on state’s main fishing grounds wind. ...The request, if granted, could slow recent steps taken by both states to expedite building offshore wind farms in waters near New York and New Jersey.
“We know the moment [the federal government] gets a taste of wind farms in the Atlantic, we are going to be playing whack-a-mole with energy and oil companies creeping up on our fishing grounds,” Bonnie Brady said at a presentation by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSERDA, on Monday night at the Southampton Inn.
Philip E. Karmel, a partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner who has analyzed the case, said that if the scallopers win, the impact will depend on what remediation the judge orders. “The case could potentially be quite important if the court holds that BOEM’s leasing procedures do not comply with the National Environmental Policy Act,” he said. “That would require a new set of leasing procedures and it could result in delays in the rollout of offshore wind turbines.”
Off New York's Long Island, an organization representing East Coast scallopers has sued the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to try to halt a proposal for a nearly 200-turbine wind farm. Commercial fishermen in Maryland's Ocean City and North Carolina's Outer Banks have also sounded the alarm about losing access to fishing grounds.
At the harbor management committee meeting, Dan Farnham Sr., a Montauk fisherman, warned that those mats pose a clear hazard and predicted that for trawl fishermen, transiting through the wind farm at night or in inclement weather would be too dangerous. “When you get hung up . . . on the bottom, especially in rough weather, it can be life-threatening,” he said. “You lose your maneuverability to control the vessel in heavy weather. If you were in the wind farm . . . and you get hung up, and your trawl gear is a third of a mile behind the boat, you have absolutely no control about where that vessel is going to drift to while you’re trying to get unhung.”
Scola is concerned about state and federal regulations. But his big concern is the prospect of hundreds, and perhaps even thousands, of giant wind turbines spread out in the New York Bight, an area along the Atlantic Coast that extends from southern New Jersey to Montauk Point. It’s one of the most productive fishing grounds on the Eastern Seaboard.
The official explained that LIPA had ample green-power sources to meet its short-term state mandates without the second Deepwater Wind project’s proposed 210 megawatts of energy. He noted LIPA will have other opportunities to purchase wind energy through a recently signed memorandum of understanding with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority specifically centered on offshore wind.
“You don’t destroy the environment in order to save the environment. Pile driving the ocean floor destroys fish with swim bladders” and traumatizes other fish, she said. Jet-plowing the ocean floor kills larvae and creates sedimentation that would cover and kill more. “Then you juice it with low-level electromagnetic frequency, which apparently heats up the ocean floor pretty well,” both repelling fish and attracting sharks, she said. “It’s one thing to talk about climate change in a vacuum, but turn around,” she said, gesturing toward the audience. “Their lives depend on what’s out there.”
The plan to build an offshore wind farm to provide energy for the South Fork has received approval by the state comptroller, with a listed price tag to ratepayers of more than $1.62 billion.
Other than the cost, the effect on marine life and the Island's summer tourism are the main concerns for Massapequa civic leader Phil Healey when it comes to a project like this one. "Just the fact of how much our economy is based on recreational fishing, recreational tourism, people who enjoy our beaches. It will have an effect -- it cannot not have an effect,” he says.
Without specifics, the company said it expects the project to be a source of jobs in the region. ...One local industry is already weighing in against project. “The idea that you can just show up and stick a flag in the ocean floor and say it’s mine without regard to the fishing community it will displace is unconscionable and un-American,” said Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association.
The project will be built 30 miles (48km) off the eastern tip of New York’s Long Island, and deliver power to the grid-constrained South Fork peninsula, which contains most of the area known as the Hamptons, a wealthy seaside resort that includes some of the most expensive residential property in the US.
The cost of the energy produced by the wind farm will be about the same as the cost of electricity produced by other renewable energy sources, around USD 0.16 per kilowatt-hour, the authority’s representatives were cited by The New York Times as saying.