Offshore wind power may be on its way to New York City. The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) will soon begin talks with Con Edison about building a 500 megawatt plant ten miles off the shore of the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens.
Such wind farms have had a history of running into bureaucratic walls. The failure of Cape Wind in Massachusetts is the most famous example, where the offshore project was nixed due to eyesore charges. LIPA itself canceled a proposed wind farm five miles off the coast of Long Island’s Jones Beach in 2007, though there cost seemed to be the dominant issue; initial estimates of $200 million quickly turned into $800 million, and so on.
Needless to say, offshore wind would be a good thing for New York. Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a speech in August about putting small wind turbines on top of buildings, an idea that was commended for its commitment to clean energy, but criticized from a technical perspective. Wind power becomes much more economically viable when generated via large, megawatt-sized turbines in windy areas.
Assuming that LIPA and Con Ed can work out an agreement regarding the logistics of this wind farm, the question remains: will they get public approval? Bluewater Wind seems to have had recent success gaining said approval from the people of Delaware. Let’s hope that New Yorkers can do the same.
Images courtesy of LIPA, Con Edison
written by Barbara Hill, September 23, 2008
written by OffshoreWind, September 23, 2008
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