Community leaders, elected officials and residents yesterday and today urged the state to increase its use of wind turbines and for Long Island to be included in a state renewable power initiative.
Supporters of wind energy spoke at Clean Energy Standard public hearings that the New York State Public Service Commission held yesterday in Riverhead and today in the Rockaways and Mineola.
They called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make what the Sierra Club called an “enforceable commitment to renewable energy that includes large-scale offshore wind power.”
They also called for the Long Island Power Authority, which is considering a wind farm proposal off the east end of Long Island, to be included in a statewide mandate to source 50 percent of electrical energy from renewables by 2030.
And they called for LIPA and PSEG Long Island to move forward with a wind power proposal on the table.
Dan Sherrell, organizing representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign said “offshore wind has the potential to power millions of homes while creating thousands of new jobs for New Yorkers.”
Cuomo in 2015 directed the state’s Public Service Commission to create a Clean Energy Standard requiring New York to provide at least 50 percent of its electricity with renewable energy by 2030.
“We’re saying that goal needs a specific provision for getting offshore wind off the ground,” Sherrell said of including a separate offshore wind category in the Clean Energy Standard. “That means utilities and power authorities would be required to purchase certain amounts of offshore wind energy to get to a goal.”
He said that also would create certainty for wind power developers, leading both to investment and contracts to buy power.
Sherrell also called for the governor to commit “to a large-scale offshore wind program and require LIPA to be included as part of the push for alternative power targeting 2030.
The PSC already has put out a plan to include LIPA in those goals, which would lead to mandates for the region.
“Right now all of this is up to debate,” Sherrell continued. “They haven’t finalized the standards.”
State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) also called for the use of offshore wind “to ensure a cleaner and more prosperous New York for future generations.”
Representatives from All Our Energy, Mothers Out Front, Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment and Renewable Energy Long Island joined in a chorus calling for more wind power.
LIPA is considering two potential offshore projects off Long Island, including Deepwater Wind’s proposal 30 miles off the coast of Montauk that would bring peaking power to the South Fork. Bid into a request for proposals for peaking power.
The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management just designated a triangular swath of ocean about 15 miles off the coast of Long Beach as viable for offshore wind development.
“They’re hoping to hold a lease auction on that triangular swath of ocean by the end of this year,” Sherrell said. “Developers will bid to develop that.”
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