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Image Courtesy of Thinkstock

Image Courtesy of Thinkstock

NYC Blueprint for Offshore Wind Power

The first U.S. offshore wind project is scheduled to come online near Block Island, off the Rhode Island coast.

New York has just released its Blueprint for the New York State Offshore Wind Power Master Plan. The Blueprint outlines New York's smart strategy for scaling up offshore wind in New York as a key part of the State's new "50 percent by 2030" renewables goal. And it opens the door for Long Island's energy authority to vote to approve a contract for a 90-megawatt offshore wind project 30 miles northeast of Montauk that would provide power to the South Fork region of Long Island.

The Blueprint, prepared by NYSERDA, New York's clean energy authority, with input from an array of other state agencies, is also the first step toward the development of a more comprehensive New York Offshore Wind Master Plan, which is expected by the end of 2017 and will involve extensive stakeholder outreach. It follows on the release last week of a National Offshore Wind Strategy by the federal government. New York has the potential to install as many as 39 gigawatts of offshore wind power-enough to power 15 million homes, pollution-free. The new Blueprint for the New York State Offshore Wind Power Master Plan shows how the State plans to make that happen.

The Blueprint says that "early offshore wind projects may move forward in parallel with the Master Plan," and notes that early projects will "inform the Master Plan" and "provide valuable guidance for how to scale offshore wind responsibility." First in line for that kind of development is the above-mentioned project to be located 30 miles east of Montauk. This project, which would be sited beyond the horizon and therefore invisible from land, would provide pollution-free power to 50,000 homes and help meet peak demand in the South Fork region. The electricity, delivered via an underwater cable, would also help the town of East Hampton meet its important goal of getting 100 percent of its electricity from clean sources by 2030.

The Blueprint outlines the huge potential for offshore wind off New York and the many reasons to build out power from this resource.

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