The long-awaited release of cost figures for the Long Island Power Authority’s wind farm could be released as early as today. Or if not today, certainly this week. And if not this week, then absolutely sometime next month, when LIPA is expected to release a global study of wind-farm costs – one that will put the controversial off-shore project in perspective.
As of late last week, LIPA spokesman Bert Cunningham said FPL Energy, the contractor, “has still not approved the release of the latest estimate.”
Newsday last year reported that the earliest estimate of the cost to build the 40-turbine wind farm was $356 million in 2004, but materials costs pushed the estimate substantially higher. As of last fall, it was $650 million, sources have said. Some are taking bets that the latest figure will be around $700 million, given raw materials costs and increased demand even from last year.
LIPA chairman Kevin Law has expressed mounting frustration with the difficulty in getting a final estimate from FPL Energy. He expressed it at a trustees meeting earlier this month, and figures were expected weeks ago. Law is expected to review the costs before making a decision about how, or whether, to go forward with the project, even as another potential bidder, Bluewater Wind, reportedly waits in the wings. – MARK HARRINGTON
25 June 2007
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