This story was updated at 1:30pm on June 9th, after being published earlier in the day.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has cancelled four public open houses this week (in Brooklyn, Long Island and New Jersey) for what could be the largest offshore wind farm in the United States.
The purpose of the open houses was to share the results of a recently completed “visualization” study with area residents, and get their feedback on a specific location for the wind farm.
The Long Island – New York City Offshore Wind Project has been working its way through a multi-year federal review process. If everything goes as planned, almost 200 3.6-megawatt wind turbines -yielding as much as 700 MW of energy- will eventually be constructed 13 miles off the Rockaway Peninsula.
BOEM cancelled the meetings “in response to concerns raised by the State of New York,” said agency spokeswoman Tracey Moriarty in a group email. “Because of the importance of this issue, we want to allow for additional coordination between the state and the federal government,” she added.
We spoke with Moriarty today and she stressed that the feds “are continuing with our planning” for the project.
An Issue of Coordination
Dayle Zatlin, a spokeswoman for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, told NYER that the state wanted “to be able to talk to the federal government about all the ways that it [the wind farm] will impact the state [e.g., jobs, environment, and visual impacts] before we do public hearings.”
The wind farm will be located in federal waters, hence BOEM’s involvement, but the state wants to be involved, Zatlin said. “Not to mention,” she added, “New York State would most likely be buying the power.”
The public meetings will be rescheduled, she said. NYSERDA is “looking forward to working with BOEM and providing opportunities for public input in the process.”
While NYSERDA promotes wind generation throughout New York, the Long Island – New York City offshore wind farm would ultimately be installed by Con Edison, the Long Island Power Authority and the New York Power Authority, which have formed a public-private partnership to advance the project.
The wind farm could create enough electricity to power an estimated 245,000 homes.