Cuomo Approves 2 Wind Farms Off Long Island Coast

Block Island’s wind farm

The offshore wind farms will generate enough electricity to power 1 million homes, the governor said.

By Alex Costello, Patch Staff
July 18, 2019 3:33 pm ET
Patch New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved two offshore wind farms in Long Island waters today, signing what is to be the nation’s largest offshore wind agreement.

Cuomo was joined by former Vice President Al Gore to sign the agreement. It will create two offshore wind farms miles from the Long Island mainland, which will generate 1,700 megawatts of renewable energy — the largest renewable energy procurement by any state in the country, Cuomo said — which will be enough to power more than 1 million homes. It will also create 1,600 jobs and generate $3.2 billion in economic activity, according to Cuomo.

At the same time, Cuomo also signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which adopts the most ambitious and comprehensive climate and clean-energy legislation in the country, the governor said.

“The environment and climate change are the most critically important policy priorities we face,” said Cuomo. “They literally will determine the future — or the lack thereof. Even in today’s chaos of political pandering and hyperbole there are still facts, data and evidence — and climate change is an undeniable scientific fact. But cries for a new green movement are hollow political rhetoric if not combined with aggressive goals and a realistic plan on how to achieve them. With this agreement, New York will lead the way in developing the largest source of offshore wind power in the nation, and today I will sign the most aggressive climate law in the United States of America. Today we are true to the New York legacy – to lead the way forward, to govern with vision and intelligence, to set a new standard, and to match our words with action.”

The two offshore wind farms are in two different locations: one is about 14 miles south of Jones Beach, and the other is about 30 miles east of Montauk Point. The companies that are running the wind farms have pledged to invest more than $287 million in the state to help maximize the benefits of offshore wind, Cuomo said

Courtesy New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

In addition, in order to help train the workers that will be needed to work the wind farms, a new Offshore Wind Training Institute will be established to educate, train and employ New Yorkers. Offshore wind will utilize many of the same labor trades that have driven New York’s infrastructure and economy for the past several decades.

The CLCPA, which Cuomo also signed today, requires the state to achieve a carbon-free electricity system by 2040 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, setting a new standard for states and the nation to expedite the transition to a clean energy economy. The new law will drive investment in clean energy solutions such as wind, solar, energy efficiency and energy storage, Cuomo said. Implementation of the CLCPA will target investments to benefit disadvantaged communities, create tens of thousands of new jobs, improve public health and quality of life and provide all New Yorkers with more robust clean energy choices.

“Today’s announcements continue to show that New York is leading the way toward a green economy,” said Sen. Todd Kaminsky. “The CLCPA sets the most aggressive green energy goals in the country and the 1,700 megawatt wind power awarded is a major step to fulfill them. While Washington is asleep at the wheel, now is the moment for bold, global change.”

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