By Christopher Martin
(Bloomberg) — The Long Island Power Authority plans to approve a 90 megawatt wind farm off the coast of New York that would become the largest in the U.S. when completed.
Deepwater Wind LLC was selected to install 15 offshore turbines about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Montauk for a project that the utility’s board expects to approve at a meeting on July 20, said Sid Nathan, a spokesman for the state-owned utility, which is operated by Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.
Offshore wind has been slower to advance in the U.S. than in Europe partly because of its higher costs and the prevalence of open land for cheaper sites onshore. Opposition from coastal communities has also held up projects including Cape Wind Associates LLC’s long-delayed 468-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts.
“This is the first step to developing the tremendous offshore wind resource off Long Island,” Nathan said in an interview Thursday. “It will be Long Island’s contribution to meeting Governor Cuomo’s ambitious plan to reach 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.”
Terms have not yet been determined, he said. The plan to build the offshore wind farm was first reported by the Associated Press, citing an interview with LIPA Chief Executive Officer Thomas Falcone. An agreement on pricing may be reached early next year and the wind farm could be completed as early as 2022.
More than 90 percent of the world’s offshore wind capacity is installed in northern Europe, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. About 12 gigawatts of offshore wind was in service at the end of 2015, just 3 percent of the world’s total installed wind energy.
Deepwater Wind is building the first U.S. offshore wind farm off the coast of Block Island, a 30-megawatt project that’s expected to produce power later this year. CEO Jeffrey Grybowski expects to see more U.S. offshore power plants in the coming years.
“There’s real momentum for offshore wind in the United States,” he said in an e-mailed statement.
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