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A New York utility plans to construct a wind farm off eastern Long Island that would be the nation’s largest offshore wind energy project, three times larger than one due to go online this year off Rhode Island.

The Long Island Power Authority’s board of directors is expected to approve the proposed 90−megawatt, 15−turbine wind farm east of Montauk at a meeting next Wednesday, the utility’s chief executive officer, Thomas Falcone, told The Associated Press.

The U.S. lags behind Europe and others in development of offshore wind energy. Many wind farms in Europe are already producing hundreds of megawatts of power. The U.S. has seen other proposals for big offshore wind farms, but none have yet come to fruition.

"This is the first in New York, it’s the largest to date, but we’re looking at this and seeing a tremendous offshore wind resource that will be developed and it’s not the last," Falcone said in an interview with the AP on Wednesday. "I think this is a very big step ... for New York, but also for the United States."

LIPA is awarding the project to Deepwater Wind, a private company that’s already building the nation’s first offshore wind farm in state waters near Block Island, Rhode Island. That five−turbine 30−megawatt project is expected to go online later this year.

Exact financial terms between LIPA and Deepwater Wind still need to be negotiated, Falcone said, but he expressed optimism an agreement could be reached by early 2017.

Falcone said because the Long Island project is to be located in the same federally approved waters as a second proposed Rhode Island wind farm, he expected construction could be expedited and power could be reaching Long Island customers by the end of 2022.

The project is one of a number being considered in the Atlantic Ocean, but it will be the next to be constructed, Falcone said.

"There’s already construction going on there," he said. "It’s in the same area."

The turbines would be placed about 30 miles offshore, putting them over the horizon and out of view of land.

The project would produce enough energy to power approximately 50,000 homes in the Hamptons.

LIPA also is planning to build two new battery energy storage facilities with a company called LI Energy. The facilities will consist of lithium−ion battery technology designed and installed by General Electric; they will be used when LIPA is facing peak demand for electricity.

"Not only will the project reduce air pollution emissions on Long Island, but it’ll also defer the need to build costly new power plants and transmission systems on the South Fork," Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski said when announcing the proposal last year.

Federal officials announced earlier this year plans to auction the rights to build a wind farm on a 127−square−mile wedge, 11 miles south of Long Island’s popular Jones Beach. That project, which has the backing of New York state officials, still faces regulatory and other hurdles before it can proceed.


This story has been corrected to show that the Rhode Island project under construction is in state waters and that different project would be in federal waters. It also has been corrected to show that the company slated to build battery storage facilities is LI Energy, not Deepwater Wind.

I've read that turbines each kill thousands of birds every year and the pressure they create exterminates entire colonies of bats flying within range. The sound frequencies cause neurological and other health problems in many animals including livestock and humans that are reported worldwide - Canada as well. Wind is unreliable, doesn't work in grids & far more emissions result from raising/lowering output from traditional plants to compensate than wind produces or offsets. What about the massive energy used in making/transporting/constructing these turbines? To be paid for by taxpayers yet owned by the same Big Oil club. We need Reduction Targets by region, area, house/business, competitions/prizes to increase participation, awareness of how to decrease and frequent updates on progress. Giant infrastructure like grids are costly, wasteful, destroy nature and unsustainable - whether nature is destroyed for regular towers, turbines or massive solar farms makes no difference.. We need people generating their own power by many different ways & sharing via local & smaller grids. Excess to be sold to nearby larger centers/users. Solar & solar hot water should be on every roof at minimum in southern areas.

The bird/bat deaths and health issues from turbines need to be investigated and exposed. How about articles on successful generation methods used elsewhere? The one about hot waste water was excellent and we need more like this.