Described as what could be the largest offshore wind farm in the United States, the Long Island – New York City Offshore Wind Project is working its way through a multi-year federal review process. If everything goes as planned, almost 200 3.6-megawatt wind turbines will eventually be constructed 13 miles off the Rockaway Peninsula.
Now’s your chance to see what the project could actually look like.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is hosting four public open houses (in Brooklyn, Long Island and New Jersey) to share the results of a recently completed “visualization” study. They are asking for the public’s input on “our renewable energy planning efforts in Federal waters on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore New York.”
The Long Island – New York City wind farm could yield as much as 700 MW of energy—enough electricity to power an estimated 245,000 homes. The project is a collaborative effort between Con Edison, the Long Island Power Authority, and the New York Power Authority.
Could the New York project become one of the world’s largest wind farms?
The New York project has the potential to rival the London Array, currently the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm, which opened in July 2013. Located 13 miles off the Kent coast in the outer Thames Estuary, the Array’s 175 turbines can generate enough energy to power nearly half a million UK homes, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 900,000 tons annually.
Now capable of producing 630MW of electricity, the London Array was supposed to be expanded by another 370MW. Phase 2 of the project has stalled due to environmental, logistical and financial issues, states the project’s website.
What’s In Store for New York?
The Long Island – New York City wind project is intended to help New York State reach its goal of reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, relative to 1990 levels.
Wind power is steadily becoming more commercially viable. Tracey Moriarty, a BOEM spokeswoman, told NYER earlier this year that other potential wind farm developers have expressed interest in the site off the Rockaways.
Developers of the Long Island – New York City project plan to construct 194 wind turbines off the coast. What sorts of impacts could such a project have?
One possible impact is visual. During the BOEM open houses in June, panoramic photographs and short videos will be shown that simulate the New York wind power project under various weather conditions and times of day and night. The simulations were generated from a series of key observation points, says BOEM.
Public feedback regarding how the wind farm could impact the viewshed for coastal areas of New York and New Jersey will be used by BOEM as it finalizes the exact area of the ocean to be developed.
The public can stop in at any time during the BOEM open houses:
Monday, June 8 from 6 – 8 pm
Floyd Bennett Field
50 Aviation Road
Brooklyn, NY 11234
Tuesday, June 9 from 6 – 8 pm
Watch Hill Ferry Terminal
150 West Avenue
Patchogue, NY 11772
Wednesday, June 10 from 6 – 8 pm
Sandy Hook Chapel
35 Hartshorne Drive
Highlands, NJ 07732
Thursday, June 11 from 6 – 8 pm
Freeport Recreation Center
130 East Merrick Road
Freeport, NY 11520
The Long Island – New York City wind project: a four-step process.
The New York wind farm is at the beginning of a lengthy public review process.
First, BOEM must conduct a preliminary environmental review of the potential impacts of a wind farm in the proposed ocean site. The public will be able to submit comments as part of the review.
Second, a lease to develop the wind farm in federal waters is issued to the winner of a competitive auction process.
Third, a site assessment plan is developed, which involves the collection of more information (e.g., wind speed data, biological data) about the area proposed for development.
And finally, the wind farm’s developer submits a construction and operations plan. BOEM must then carry out a full environmental review of the project.