An Alstom Haliade turbine in Belgium similar to the turbines proposed by Deepwater Wind
An Alstom Haliade turbine in Belgium similar to the turbines proposed by Deepwater Wind

The Long Island Power Authority Board of Trustees could vote tomorrow on whether to purchase power from an array of solar and offshore wind proposals on Long Island.

Renewable energy advocates are pulling out the stops this week asking supporters of offshore wind to call Governor Andrew Cuomo to express their support for the Deepwater ONE offshore wind project, which could produce more than 200 megawatts of power for Long Island from 35 turbines in the ocean 30 miles offshore from Montauk.

Renewable energy advocates and labor groups showed up en masse at the LIPA board’s October meeting in support of the project.

Deepwater Wind is hoping to tie that energy into the grid to power the East End, which suffers from inadequate infrastructure for peak loads that often occur at the same time wind energy production peaks — late on summer afternoons.

LIPA still owns Long Island’s transmission network, which is being managed by PSEG Long Island, an offshoot of New Jersey-based PSE&G, as of 2014. LIPA issues a request for proposals for 280 megawatts of electricity from renewable sources in 2013 and is expected to pick the winners tomorrow.

If the Deepwater ONE project is selected, it could come at the expense of several smaller solar projects under consideration by LIPA, since Deepwater ONE would use 210 of the 280 megawatts alloted to renewable energy.

If solar plans under consideration at EPCAL in Riverhead Town do not receive the nod from LIPA, it could put a wrench in the works of the town’s 2015 budget, which counts on $700,000 in revenue from leasing or sale of land at EPCAL, primarily for solar power.

If it is built, the Deepwater ONE project would be on a site described by Deepwater Wind as the best site for offshore wind in the United States, taking advantage of the strong, steady winds of the Atlantic Ocean. It would also be farther from shore than any other project currently proposed.

A recent study by researchers at Stony Brook University found that a wind park would have “essentially no impact” on electric bills on Long Island, while Deepwater Wind announced in November that, if their project is selected, Deepwater ONE would provide 300 jobs during construction and a “significant number” of jobs during the pre-construction phase, with hiring beginning in 2015.

The company plans to partner with the Nassau-Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council and the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, to develop a local offshore wind industry.

Deepwater Wind CEP Jeffrey Grybowski said in an interview with The Beacon earlier this year that his company is hoping to break ground on the Deepwater One project as soon as 2017, and could begin commercial operation by 2018.

Renewable Energy Long Island Executive Director Gordian Raacke urged renewable energy advocates to contact the governor’s office in support of the project in an email campaign earlier this week.

“It’s clear that offshore wind is the responsible choice for Long Island, but Governor Cuomo needs to hear it from you,” he said. “Wednesday, Dec. 17 is the big day.”

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

2 thoughts on “LIPA Board Could Vote on Renewable Energy Projects Tomorrow

  1. ASK DEEPWATER WIND HOW MUCH MONEY THEY GAVE STONY BROOK. THEY GAVE SIMILAR GRANTS TO URI. HOW ABOUT SOME BASIC ARITHMETIC THAT WILL SHOW HOW TERRIBLY EXPENSIVE OFF SHORE WIND WILL BE AND WHO WILL BENEFIT IS WALL STREET AND ITS INVESTORS AND WHO WILL LOSE ARE TAXPAYERS AND RATEPAYERS.

    THIS IS SUCH A FARCE. THE FORMER CEO OF DWW IS NOW COMPLAINING THAT OFF SHORE WIND IS TOO EXPENSIVE AND WE SHOULD ALL USE SOLAR.

    GOTTA LOVE OUR GOVERNMENT FOR ENCOURAGING SUCH CRAZINESS FROM BUSINESS BY OFFERING UNHEARD OF SUBSIDIES.

  2. ALSO, THE ‘BEAUTIFUL’ PHOTO OF ALSTOM’S WIND TURBINE…GOOGLE HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INDICTED AT ALSTOM…THIS IS THE COMPANY DWW KEEPS…THIS IS WHO THEY DO BUSINESS WITH.

    (Reuters) – The French firm Alstom SA (ALSO.PA) has pleaded guilty and will pay $772 million in criminal penalties to settle charges with the U.S. Justice Department alleging the company bribed government officials to win business around the world.

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