State releases ‘blueprint’ for wind farm future off Long Island: No new turbine development proposed off South Fork
After a year of research and planning, including conversations over the summer with commercial fishermen in Montauk and Hampton Bays, New York State has released its recommendations to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for siting future wind farms south of Long Island this week.
The state identified two areas to target for electricity-generating wind turbines, one on each side of the main shipping lanes leading into New York Harbor. Neither of the two areas, totaling about 1 million acres of ocean floor, is directly off the South Fork.
During meetings with fishermen last month, state engineers had shown fishermen maps of the wide range of areas that they were considering, including some sections directly south of the South Fork.
Local fishermen balked at the proposal, saying that the areas shown lay in some of the most productive and economically important sea scalloping grounds on the East Coast and that having those grounds flecked with wind turbines a mile apart from each other would make harvesting difficult.
Instead, the two areas closer to New York Harbor will be presented by the state as part of its Offshore Wind Blueprint, intended to guide the siting and construction of more than 200 wind turbines in the Atlantic.
The eastern area begins about 26 miles from Long Island at the closest point and extends southward to the northeastern slope of the Hudson Canyon. The eastern edge of the area lies approximately south of the western edge of Moriches Bay and eastern Great South Bay.
The western, and larger, area starts about 20 miles off Barnegat, New Jersey, and runs to the western slope of the Hudson Canyon.
The federal BOEM will make final decisions about which portions of the sea floor will be leased to wind energy companies. The agency has already issued leases for hundreds of square miles of sea floor south of Block Island and Martha’s Vineyard to wind energy companies—including the area where Deepwater Wind plans to construct up to 15 turbines off Montauk to send power to Eastern Long Island.
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