More Wind Farm Proposals Pitched to New York State

A tour of Deepwater Wind's wind farm off Block Island. Peter Boody photo

New York State has received bids from four groups proposing new offshore wind farms to feed the state’s electrical grid, including a proposal from the companies behind the “South Fork Wind Farm,” which have proposed a new “Sunrise Wind” project that if selected would be sited over 30 miles east of Montauk Point.

The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) closed bidding Thursday on the offshore wind power park, which it hopes will have a capacity of at least 800 megawatts of energy. It is expected that NYSERDA will select the winning bid in May.

According to a press release issued by New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., a total of 18 separate proposals for up to 1,200 megawatts of energy have been submitted.

In a press release issued Thursday, Ørsted and Eversource — the companies that purchased South Fork Wind Farm developer Deepwater Wind last fall — said its “Sunrise Wind” proposal had been “carefully planned to help achieve Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s nation-leading offshore wind and renewable energy goals, and to do so with the highest possible levels of public support.” While details of bids have not yet been released by the companies or by NYSERDA, in its press release Ørsted and Eversource confirmed “Sunrise Wind” would be in the 500-mile federal lease area it already controls in the same area that the South Fork Wind Farm is proposed.

The request for proposals by NYSERDA is a part of the state’s stated goals to create 9,000 megawatts of wind power by 2035. The Long Island Power Authority has already entered into a contract with Ørsted for 130 megawatts from the South Fork Wind Farm, a project that still needs state and federal approvals as well as access easements from the Town of East Hampton.

“As I have stated many times, I support the development of wind energy as a means of eliminating our reliance on fossil fuels and to combat climate change,” said Mr. Thiele in a statement. “Consistent with this position, I have supported the goal of the State of New York’s REV (Reforming the Energy Vision) for the development of renewable energy, including offshore wind. We must look at the merits of each project to insure it meets this goal and that the project avoids unacceptable, adverse impacts to our community. The public is right to demand the strictest review of every proposal, including the concerns of the commercial fishing industry and local neighborhoods impacted by new energy infrastructure on the land.”

Mr. Thiele said procurement contracts for any project must be made public, and details must be offered about the needed infrastructure for each proposal, including where energy substations are to be located and where transmission lines are expected to come ashore. He also said the burden of wind power should not be on any one community.