The Long Island coastline.Stanley Zimney
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On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state had approved a 90 MW offshore wind farm to be installed off the coast of Long Island.
That would make what will be called the South Fork Wind Farm the biggest offshore wind farm in the US.
The announcement comes just a month after Block Island, a facility off the coast of Rhode Island, became the first ever commercial offshore wind farm in the US to transmit electricity in late 2016.
Deepwater Wind, the company that installed the turbines off Block Island, will also be supplying the turbines for South Fork.
In a press release, the New York governor’s office wrote that the turbines will be placed 30 miles southeast of Montauk and “out of sight from Long Island’s beaches.” The press release added that South Fork will provide electricity for 50,000 Long Island homes.
Two weeks ago, Governor Cuomo announced that New York would commit to installing 2.4 GW of offshore wind by 2030.
That comes just as the state announced that Indian Point, a 2 GW nuclear energy facility just north of New York City, would close by 2021.
The state of New York celebrated the closure of Indian Point, claiming that the plant was unsafe and too close to a major metropolitan area.
But critics of the move said it would be difficult for New York to replace all of that greenhouse-gas-free energy with renewable energy.
In his statement today, Governor Cuomo reiterated that New York was pushing to have 50 percent of its energy come from renewable sources by 2030.
Elizabeth Bibi, Deputy Director of Media Relations for the governor’s office, cited Superstorm Sandy, a violent storm that rocked New York in 2012 with devastating flooding and power outages, as a reason to expedite updating New York’s grid with renewable power.
South Fork would “provide greater reliability and resiliency for a part of the country very familiar with extreme weather events and outages,” Bibi said.
According to the New York Times, the wind farm will be situated on a 256-square-mile parcel that’s leased from the federal government.
It will initially have 15 turbines but could support up to 200 turbines.
The Times also noted that the project is expected to cost $740 million, down from an earlier projection of $1 billion, which Deepwater Wind will finance with loans and equity investments.
The Long Island Power Authority said it would purchase all of South Fork Wind’s output for 20 years—the renewable electricity is expected to cost rate payers an extra $1.19 a month on average.