With the release of its master plan for offshore wind energy, New York State is doubling down on its commitment to renewable energy at a time when the Trump administration is moving to allow coastal drilling for oil and gas.
The plan calls for hundreds of turbines to be built on a one million acre site in the Atlantic Ocean at least 21 miles south of the Great South Bay, ensuring that none of the turbines would be visible from the shoreline. Estimates say that the windfarms would generate 2,400 megawatts of power by the year 2030 – enough to power more than a million homes.
Environmentalists on Long Island are praising Governor Cuomo’s plan.
Adrienne Esposito, executive director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said, “Well, we’re thrilled. It’s been 15 years in the making, and we’re really excited that now offshore wind farms are being embraced by New York State. It’s really a necessity, not a luxury item. Right now, what we’re seeing is New York State and our federal government at a crossroads. We either are going to continue our addiction to dirty, dangerous fossil fuels or we’re going to take a better path, the new path towards renewables and we’re going to open up our ocean waters to offshore wind.”
By 2028, the Cuomo administration foresees a $6 billion industry employing more than 5,000 people. Commercial fisherman, however, have expressed concerns about the loss of fishing grounds. They want more research before the project goes ahead.
Economic and environmental impact studies will need to be done before the plan can be implemented.