Offshore-wind-energy companies that are bidding for a contract to supply power to the New York grid are proposing a variety of Long Island job training, employment and economic benefits to help sweeten their offers.
On Friday, Danish energy conglomerate Orsted is expected to make an appearance at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood to announce the tentative creation of the new workforce training center for offshore-wind and other green-energy jobs. Orsted’s wind farm, called Sunrise Wind, would be located off the Rhode Island/Massachusetts coast.
The $10 million in Orsted funding for the center is contingent on the company being awarded the lucrative contract to supply some 800 megawatts of wind energy to the New York grid, Orsted said in a statement. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is expected to announce a winning bidder in coming weeks.
Earlier this year, Norway energy giant Equinor disclosed that it had been evaluating locations in Nassau County for a new operations base for its wind-farm proposal, which would be located about 15 miles off the coast of Long Beach. The operations base would employ 50 to 100 workers, the company said, though a location hadn’t been finalized. Equinor said it too had been working with Long Island colleges on job-training and research and development projects and proposals. The company’s plans are also contingent on being awarded the contract.
In a statement, Thomas Brostrom, president of Orsted North America, said partnerships like the proposed one at Suffolk County Community College were “absolutely critical” to “achieve our vision of a world run entirely on green energy.”
Four companies proposed 18 different wind-farm configurations for the NYSERDA bid.
Another auction for new wind-energy areas off Long Island could take place in early 2020 after the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announces final areas this year, a BOEM official said at a symposium in Port Jefferson on Wednesday. BOEM said it was still uncertain whether the final sites would include two large swaths of ocean previously identified by the agency off the entire coast of the Hamptons. New York State opposes the sites for wind turbines.
Dave Aripotch, a Montauk fisherman who attended the Port Jefferson conference, expressed frustration with the process requiring him to take days off to provide input to further the advancement of he termed “wind-scams,” which he argued will only reduce his access to fishing grounds. “We’re only trying to mitigate our losses,” he said.
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