New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced plans to build enough offshore wind capacity by 2030 to power 1.25 million New York homes, the largest commitment in U.S. history.
The commitment to 2,400 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind power came in his Long Island regional State of the State speech one day after he announced that the troubled Indian Point nuclear facility in Westchester County will close by 2021 and that the state plans to replace its power with clean energy and low-carbon energy resources.
His plan will start with a 90-megawatt project 30 miles off Montauk on Long Island’s South Fork.
South Fork would supply electricity to 50,000 South Fork homes, helping to meet peak demand in the area and would, via an underwater cable, deliver electricity directly to East Hampton to help the town meet its forward-looking plan to get 100 percent of its electricity from clean sources by 2030.
The South Fork project will be developed by Deepwater Wind and located 30 miles from shore. Deepwater Wind is also the developer of the country's first offshore wind power project, the 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm, located off the Rhode Island coast, which came online in December 2016.
Deepwater Wind has shown its commitment to protecting the marine environment and ecosystems by working with NRDC and other environmental organizations in developing plans to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, which migrate up and down the East Coast.
“This week, Governor Cuomo has shown again his inspiring commitment to climate and clean energy issues,” says Kit Kennedy, spokeswoman for NRDC. “Now more than ever, New York and the nation need his brand of bold and innovative leadership.”
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the state’s clean energy agency, estimates there are enough offshore wind resources to power at least 15 million homes, as described in a report that it published in the fall.
In December, when the Department of the Interior held an auction for leasing rights to another New York offshore wind power area, 11 nautical miles off of Long Beach on Long Island, the auction went through an unheard-of 33 rounds of bidding before the lease was awarded to Statoil for more than $40 million. Statoil will explore building as much as 1,000 megawatts of offshore wind power in the area, beginning with a project that will generate between 400 and 600 megawatts.
Cuomo also announced that New York State has made a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions an additional 30 percent below 2020 levels by 2030. This marks the nation’s first regionally-based bipartisan initiative to reduce power sector carbon emissions. In the past three years, emissions have consistently been below cap levels, from five percent below the cap in 2014 to a projected eight percent below the cap in 2016.