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United States

NYPA to revive Long Island offshore plans

US: The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has announced it is applying for a lease for an area of Atlantic seabed where it can build a wind farm.

NYPA president Richard Kessel announced the power authority's Long Island offshore plan
NYPA president Richard Kessel announced the power authority's Long Island offshore plan

The Long Island-New York Offshore Wind Collaborative (LI-NYC) is looking into the development of between 350MW and 700MW by the end of 2016. The group includes the NYPA, Consolidated Edison, and the Long Island Power Authority (LYPA).

A lease application is needed before the group can perform a feasibility study into the project.

NYPA president Richard Kessel said he hoped the project would make New York a leader in offshore wind.

The wind project site includes an area of approximately 64,500 acres of underwater land and is approximately 13 to 15 miles offshore of Long Island in the Atlantic Ocean’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), an area under the jurisdiction of BOE—a federal bureau within the United States Department of Interior.

The Long Island-New York Offshore Project had previously reached an initial stage of development and was even handed to developer NextEra. However, it was placed on the backburner in 2006 following cost projection analysis.

In 2003, the public agency was pushing to support construction of a wind project off Long Island, New York, in state waters.

After some bidding between developers, FPL Energy (since renamed NextEra Energy) in 2004 was awarded a bid to build a 140 MW project. Two years later its cost projections more than doubled from around $356 million to around $800 million.

The project was pushed forward by Kessel, then chief executive of LIPA. When Kessel left LIPA to join the New York equivalent, his replacement, Kevin Law, scuttled the plan citing the much higher than anticipated costs. The idea was believed to have been relegated to one of ongoing studies but no major action.

Late last year, NYPA issued a request for proposals (RFP) to gauge developer interest in building an offshore wind project in Lake Erie or Lake Ontario, both of which border New York to the north-west.

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