Articles filed under Offshore Wind from New York
The assertion that public voices will still be heard under Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s new Office of Renewable Energy Siting is not accurate. The very point in establishing this new agency was to make sure his renewable policy is advanced despite opposition from the public and affected municipalities. Voices may be heard, but the outcome will be predetermined.
Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind and Eversource Energy, which are developing the proposed South Fork Wind farm, filed a joint proposal with the New York State Public Service Commission last Thursday in support of an application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need under Article VII of the Public Service Law.
Offshore wind is the renewable-energy industry’s shiny new toy. Led by New York, seven Atlantic-coast states have now imposed mandates to expand offshore wind use over the next decade, with the Empire State last week soliciting bids for an additional 2,500 megawatts of offshore power, on top of the 1,700 megawatts procured previously.
New York-based Save Our Shores issued this important message warning of the threat to the state's rural areas and the US Great Lakes under Governor Cuomo's aggressive renewable energy policy. The press release isprovided below and can also be accessed by clicking the document links on this page.
Members of the Citizens for the Preservation of Wainscott, Inc., a group opposed to Ørsted and Eversource Energy’s South Fork Wind Farm project, have been pressuring the owners who want to bring an energy cable onshore at Beach Lane.
Orsted and Eversource, which are jointly developing the proposed South Fork Wind Farm to be situated approximately 35 miles off Montauk, have filed an update to the project’s Construction and Operations Plan with the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
Offshore wind power is the most expensive alternative-energy source, and Cuomo has boosted these projects’ costs by requiring union labor. To hide the bad news, NYSERDA has to play games. Maybe that’s why, as the Empire Center also reports, its officials have the highest average pay of any state authority.
LIPA in a briefing paper said the 20-year average cost for energy from the 130-megawatt project will be 14.1 cents a kilowatt hour, compared to 8.3 cents from the state-contracted projects that will deliver some 1,700 megawatts. The LIPA figure appeared in a footnote of a comparison of costs for various projects, including the nation's first, the Block Island wind farm, at 37.6 cents a kilowatt hour, LIPA said.
Erie County Legislator John Mills explained he and his colleagues in the Legislature formulated a resolution to prevent putting wind turbines in Lake Erie. He noted there needs to be a permanent moratorium on these structures in the lake so the environment cannot be disturbed any more than it already has been. “We’ve got to get on the bandwagon with this and stay on the bandwagon because this reared its ugly head 10 years ago, and now it’s back again,” he added. “Do not disturb our freshwater, period. It’s really simple.”
There is no formal proposal to install wind turbines in Lake Erie waters off Western New York. But nearly 100 people showed up at an Erie County Legislature meeting on Thursday anticipating or fearing that day is coming soon. Clean energy advocates pressed legislators to be open-minded about wind energy use. Though there are currently no freshwater wind farms in the United States, a six-turbine project is expected to be installed eight miles off the Lake Erie shores of Cleveland.
With Lake Erie as his backdrop, state Sen. Chris Jacobs used Sturgeon Point Marina in Evans to introduce legislation establishing a moratorium, or halt, to the construction or placement of wind turbines along any fresh water body in the state.
State Sen. Chris Jacobs will hold a conference on Wednesday morning to announce new legislation that would establish an indefinite moratorium on the construction of wind turbines in any freshwater body in New York State.
“I’m petrified of them,” said Mark Phillips, one of the most experienced commercial fishermen on Long Island and one of the last operating out of Greenport. His chief concern, he said, is the turbines’ potential impact on the region’s vital squid fishery. Despite assurances that fishing will be allowed in the turbine fields, Phillips said, “Even with the mile spacing, I’m not going to take the chance.” He’s also read reports that vibrations from the turbines could affect whether squid will still move through their traditional spawning grounds. “The potential to lose the whole inshore squid fishery is real to me,” he said.
The dispute over spacing and orientation has already snarled the regulatory process for the $2.8- billion Vineyard Wind project, with news last month that the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management decided to hold off on a ruling on the company’s application to install up to 84 turbines south of Martha’s Vineyard. The issues are also now being considered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
“The Cuomo administration appears to have violated state law” by forcing developers of state-subsidized offshore wind-power plants to cut costly deals with construction unions, the Empire Center’s Ken Girardin reported last week.
"Officials from Homeland Security confirmed to me that the major shadows cast by these incredibly large structures would make their radar systems useless in that Southtown’s coastline,” Jacobs said in a statement. “The frequency of illegal drug smuggling and human trafficking in this corridor is reason enough for me to oppose this wind turbine project."
Let’s assume New York paid the same subsidy as Maryland officials plan for their offshore-wind project. That would mean guaranteeing a payment of $131.93 per megawatt-hour. Based on last year’s average wholesale costs of electricity in New York City ($41.16) and Long Island ($45.05), that means the projects will need, and get, an annual subsidy of about $528 million.
Renewable energy advocates lauded the announcement as a record-breaking commitment to offshore wind projects. In June, New Jersey announced the previous largest offshore wind contract, selecting Ørsted to construct a 1.1 GW project off the coast of Atlantic City.
Wainscott resident Si Kinsella, who has raised concerns about the wind farm and sued the state to fully disclose the cost of the project, said it was important to have an independent expert review the application. “I think it’s a very sensible move to bring on some experts,” he said, adding that the town should have taken the step when the project was announced in 2017. “Better late than never," Kinsella said.
The developer of one of the largest of three proposed wind farms contemplated for the waters off the Hamptons has withdrawn its tentative plan in favor of sites to the west, and is urging the federal government to restrict turbines from East End waters, according to the Germany-based developer's top U.S. official.