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Mar 25, 2014 1:17 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

LIPA Will Get Proposal For Wind Farm Off Montauk

Mar 25, 2014 2:32 PM

The company currently constructing the United States’ first offshore wind energy project off Block Island will submit a proposal to the Long Island Power Authority this week calling for 35 additional wind turbines to supply power to the East End of Long Island.

The wind turbines, each standing some 600 feet above the water, would be erected about 30 miles east of Montauk and 16 miles off the shore of Martha’s Vineyard. They would not be visible from Long Island, but would be connected to a local power substation by a transmission cable running 6 feet beneath the sea floor and then beneath roadways where it comes ashore.

The decision about which substation on the North or South fork would be connected to the wind farm would be decided by LIPA.

If built, the 35 turbines could produce enough power to supply all the annual needs of between 125,000 and 140,000 homes.

The project is being proposed to LIPA by Deepwater Wind, a Rhode Island-based company that began construction on a five-turbine wind farm in Rhode Island waters off Block Island late last year

Last summer, Deepwater Wind won the bid to the U.S. Department of the Interior for a lease on 256 square miles of federally-controlled sea floor off the Nantucket Shoals, on which company CEO Jeff Grybowski says as many as 200 turbines could ultimately be built. The project being proposed to LIPA would constitute the first phase of what Deepwater Wind hopes will become a regional renewable energy supply source for southern New England.

“There are 2,000 offshore wind turbines in the water in Europe right now, there aren’t any in the [United States],” Mr. Grybowski said in an interview this week. “Our philosophy as a company is to start with this small project and build our expertise in the Northeast. It is an opportunity for Long Island to partner in what is the first large-scale offshore wind opportunity in the U.S.”

Deepwater Wind is backed by First Wind, a wind generated energy company that has built several large land-based wind farms throughout the continental United States and Hawaii.

If the proposal is accepted by LIPA and the approval process goes smoothly, Mr. Grybowski said the company expects to be able to have turbines operating and transmitting power to the East End by the end of 2018.

The Block Island project will be online in 2016. The site, 3 miles off the southeast corner of the island, will comprise five 6-megawatt turbines.

Along with providing the experience of erecting offshore wind turbines in the United States, that “demonstration scale” project will also show what the region presents in terms of long-term renewable power in the region, should the larger project go forward.

“We think this is the best offshore wind site in the United States,” Mr. Grybowski said. “This area of coastline has been called the Saudi Arabia of wind. … It has very strong, very consistent wind and it is close to big population centers.”

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All oceanic windmills are imported from Europe. None are manufactured in the US. What do you think the estimates for repairs will be after hurricanes, noreasters and superstorms? Do you actually think your energy bill will be reduced by these billion dollar projects? Ha! The supposed "jobs that will be created" by wind farms will be paid for with your escalating energy bills. It's admitted that half a million migratory birds and sea fowl are killed every year by wind turbines, so that means far ...more
By btdt (449), water mill on Mar 27, 14 12:44 PM
How many birds are killed every year from deforestation, oil spills, and pollution caused by fossil fuels?
By AlixSuter (1), Quogue, New York on Mar 29, 14 12:01 AM
bldt, Are you always so negative? Always putting down someone else's idea in favor of your own? And comparing those wind turbines to actual damage done to the power lines and trees etc. seems illogical to me.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Mar 27, 14 12:55 PM
Why offshore? Why not land-based wind turbines? I'm guessing they'd be significantly less expensive to install and maintain than offshore turbines.

In my back yard? Why not? We cherish our colonial-era windmills around here, and I don't see these as much different.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Mar 27, 14 2:47 PM
Both oceanic wind turbines and solar panels are not steady producers of energy. However, solar panels go on YOUR house. You can own them. You can do your own upkeep or pay for the upkeep. You know how much energy is being produced.

But you don't own oceanic turbines. LIPA gets government money (from you) for the initial installment, pads it and passes it on to you. All maintenance bills for the turbines from LIPA will be padded and passed on to you. Do you really think your energy costs ...more
By btdt (449), water mill on Mar 28, 14 4:53 PM