- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Wind farm debate heats up on Long Island

It’s a hot topic and growing debate – using green energy for our power.

Now, wind farms could soon be going up off Long Island’s South Shore. But not everyone wants that to happen, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Tuesday.

Families visiting Fire Island National Seashore and hikers along Robert Moses State Park say they don’t want to see blinking lights on the horizon, lights that could come with turbines if wind farms are approved off the coast.

Will what we can’t see below the water line be affected?

“It depends on how far they have to put it out, dealing with the continental shelf,” Patchogue fisherman Robert Stephani said.

“Eventually it would attract fish because it would build a little reef around it,” Noreen Stephani added.

Wind farms are now gaining steam and creating new debate in the call for green energy to power our regional electric grid.

“If we are going to close down our fossil fuel power plants, if we are going to stop importing coal and oil and gas from Pennsylvania and Connecticut, we need wind. That’s the bottom line,” said Adrienne Esposito of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

And right now residents are getting their chance to see what is proposed, renewable wind energy projects 20-30 miles from the South Shore of practically all of Long Island. All the feds are looking off Montauk, while the state has a differing plan.

McLogan: “It looks like according to the map south of Long Beach?”

“Correct. We have identified areas to the western side of Long Island, closer to New York City, with the least conflict and most value for New Yorkers,” said Doreen Harris of NYS Energy Research and Development Authority.

Still, party boat captains and commercial fishermen and women say hit the pause button.

“You have to worry about going around them, trawlers with their nets and gear,” Jimmy Higgins said.

Not enough they say is known about turbine structures and undersea cables.

“It’s not just, ‘Oh we care about our fishing grounds.’ We care about the entire environment. That’s what produces our food. You cannot eat energy,” said Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association.

There is so much interest in this plan the state will hold its second public meeting in two days to discuss its new blueprint for wind energy.

The wind farm public meeting in Melville begins at 6:30 p.m.