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LIPA seeks outside wind energy & new analysis

Two initiatives related to wind energy were announced by the Long Island Power Authority at a press conference on May 22, and generated mixed reactions from public officials in attendance. While LIPA's efforts to import wind energy from outside of Long Island was applauded by environmentalists and public officials, some criticized LIPA's push to conduct an updated, economic assessment of the utility's proposed offshore wind farm for Long Island.

Two initiatives related to wind energy were announced by the Long Island Power Authority at a press conference on May 22, and generated mixed reactions from public officials in attendance. While LIPA's efforts to import wind energy from outside of Long Island was applauded by environmentalists and public officials, some criticized LIPA's push to conduct an updated, economic assessment of the utility's proposed offshore wind farm for Long Island.

As previously reported in Suffolk Life, LIPA has proposed constructing a 40-turbine offshore wind farm approximately four miles south of Cedar Beach. Wind energy generated both on and off Long Island, as well as other alternative energy resources, are continually being explored and applied by LIPA, according to Bert Cunningham, LIPA's vice president of communications. The driving purpose behind this, he said, is to allow LIPA to diversify its "energy portfolio."

The first goal highlighted at the press conference is "to begin to test the importation of renewable energy sources from distant sources," said Cunningham. The utility planned to issue a request for proposals to receive 25 megawatts of land-based wind energy... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Two initiatives related to wind energy were announced by the Long Island Power Authority at a press conference on May 22, and generated mixed reactions from public officials in attendance. While LIPA's efforts to import wind energy from outside of Long Island was applauded by environmentalists and public officials, some criticized LIPA's push to conduct an updated, economic assessment of the utility's proposed offshore wind farm for Long Island.

As previously reported in Suffolk Life, LIPA has proposed constructing a 40-turbine offshore wind farm approximately four miles south of Cedar Beach. Wind energy generated both on and off Long Island, as well as other alternative energy resources, are continually being explored and applied by LIPA, according to Bert Cunningham, LIPA's vice president of communications. The driving purpose behind this, he said, is to allow LIPA to diversify its "energy portfolio."

The first goal highlighted at the press conference is "to begin to test the importation of renewable energy sources from distant sources," said Cunningham. The utility planned to issue a request for proposals to receive 25 megawatts of land-based wind energy from wind parks outside of Long Island for a period of one year, he explained. Opening bids for a one-year contract with facilities in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland power market will be collected until June 4, added Cunningham.

Through the use of a "Neptune cable" - a power line that, once it is completed, will run from Long Island through the Atlantic Ocean to mainland power sources - LIPA will have access to new energy resources, Cunningham explained. "We're tapping into a new renewable energy market [and] finding out what we can acquire and at what cost," he stated.

Cunningham noted that "this RFP is another step in assessing what will be available to Long Island in the form of renewable energy so that we can meet renewable energy standards set by New York State."

In regard to the proposed offshore wind farm, Cunningham said LIPA wants "new, definitive and updated information of what the project will cost." Therefore, utility representatives retained the services of Pace Global Energy, for $50,000, to conduct an "independent review" of the wind energy market, he continued. This review would examine the applicability of a proposed offshore wind farm for Long Island and elucidate its costs.

"Pace Global has a lot of experience with these types of issues," stated Cunningham. "They can do this assessment quickly and at a modest cost. It makes sense." A new assessment, he explained, would predominantly explore offshore wind farms in Europe that are up and running, as well as those that are being proposed.

The current information LIPA has on wind energy and its cost-effectiveness needs to be updated due to the evolving technology, according to Cunningham. "We need to see what the other economics are in the industry," he said. This will serve as "a basis for comparison" against the cost-efficiency rates produced by Florida Power and Light Energy - the company that is slated to incur construction costs for the proposed wind farm.

"I think that LIPA is looking to have a consultant create talking points to combat critics of the LIPA wind farm," said Legislator Wayne Horsley (D-Lindenhurst). "Frankly, I think it's a waste of money." Horsley argued that LIPA was trying to compare offshore wind energy to onshore wind energy in order to bolster support for the project. "Why do we need to spend $50,000?" LIPA, he argued, has a fully equipped staff that can conduct an examination. In addition to this, Horsley noted that other studies conducted by politicians and Dowling College already address many of the construction costs and energy yield of a prospective offshore wind farm. The cost of construction of an offshore wind farm, he continued, could be approximately $600 million. "I'm not against wind power. The problem is this project. It's not cost-effective," Horsley stated.


Source: http://www.zwire.com/site/n...

MAY 30 2007
https://www.windaction.org/posts/9159-lipa-seeks-outside-wind-energy-new-analysis
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