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  • Dylan D’Agate

Long Island Makes History – With Renewable Energy

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

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Long Island is about to make history with the installation of offshore wind farms, according to New York governor Andrew Cuomo. As stipulated in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York State must procure 9,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind by 2035. Toward this goal, the State is creating the largest offshore wind farm system in the nation: a total of five offshore farms that will bring New York State, according to the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, almost halfway to the goal of 9,000 MW by 2035.

The Wind Farms

South Fork Wind. Located 35 miles east of Montauk Point, this first of the five farms will produce renewable energy to power 70,000 homes annually. Comprising 15 turbines, generating approximately 132 MW of renewable energy per year to the electric substation on Cove Hollow Road in East Hampton, South Fork Wind will help the Town of East Hampton meet its 100 percent renewable energy goal. Construction is slated to begin in 2021 and to be fully operational in 2022.

Sunrise Wind. Thirty miles east of Montauk, Sunrise Wind will generate 880 MW of renewable energy every year to the Holbrook and West-Bus substations, in the town of Brookhaven, to power more than 500,000 homes, nearly half of LIPA’s 1.1 million customer base. The number of wind turbines in this farm will depend on the size of the turbines; if the current standard size of 8 MW is used, then approximately 110 turbines will be required. (The project is approved for 122 turbines.) Construction work may begin as early as 2023 and is expected to be fully operational by 2024.

Empire Wind. Approximately 20 miles south of Long Island, east of the Rockaways, this project will connect to New York’s electricity grid at the Gowanus substation in Brooklyn. Empire Wind will generate 816 MW of renewable energy and potentially provide power to more than 500,000 New York homes. It is estimated to comprise between 60 and 80 turbines and to be constructed by 2024.

Empire Wind 2. About 20 miles off the coast of Long Beach City, adjacent to the Empire Wind farm, Empire Wind 2 will generate 1,260 MW of renewable energy on the south shore of Long Island to the E.F. Barrett substation, in Oceanside.

Beacon Wind. With more than 90 wind turbines approximately 50 miles off Montauk, Beacon Wind will generate 1,230 MW of renewable energy to the Astoria Queens substation. Combined with Empire 2 it is estimated to provide power to 1.3 million homes.

The Benefits

Environmental. The environmental benefits of Long Island’s offshore wind farms are significant. The farms have the potential to provide renewable energy for one-third of New York State, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, which create the greenhouse gases mainly responsible for global warming and its existential threat to the planet.

Economic. These farms will also result in new jobs. Toward this end, the State plans on investing $20 million in a new Offshore Wind Training Institute based at SUNY Stony Brook and Farmingdale State College, as well as $10 million to create a similar center at Suffolk County Community College, to train thousands of workers to meet industry demands. Fabrication of parts for the turbines will be accomplished using facilities throughout New York State. Construction of the Sunrise Wind Farm, for example, is expected to generate between 800 and 2,000 jobs, with many expected to be filled through negotiations with New York State contractors and trade labor organizations. Another example, the building of a new Operations and Maintenance Hub in Port Jefferson, is expected to create up to 100 jobs.

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