Friday, July 3, 2009

New York plans U.S.'s largest offshore wind farm

New York government agencies and power companies said on Wednesday they are gauging interest from developers and manufacturers about building a wind farm about 13 miles off the New York city coast that could end up being the largest such project in the United States.

Reuters reports that:

The Long Island Power Authority, the New York Power Authority, other agencies and Consolidated Edison Inc hope to build the 350 megawatt wind farm off the Rockaway Peninsula in the Atlantic.

Potentially, the project could be expanded to 700 MW, giving it a shot of being the biggest U.S. offshore wind farm. One megawatt powers about 1,000 homes in New York, but wind does not blow all of the time.

Taking stock of the interest of developers is a precursor to issuing a request for proposal for the project which is anticipated for release by the end of the year, the collaboration said.

"There clearly is growing interest in this proposal by many parties," Kevin Burke, chairman and CEO of Con Edison, said in a release.
It's not the first time that the LIPA has been involved in an offshore wind-power venture.

The authority formerly proposed the construction of a 40-turbine wind farm that would have produced 140 MW of energy off the shore of Jones Beach on the south shore of Long Island.

LIPA's initially estimated the project's cost to be between $150 million and $200 million. But it did not disclose actual costs until Newsday filed a Freedom of Information Law in 2007.

Initially, LIPA denied the request, but on appeal it provided limited and outdated information disclosing that winning bid for the project in 2003 was $356 million. Newsday later reported that the cost had ballooned to $650 million.

By the time the project was canceled in 2007 by red-faced LIPA officials, the authority was admitting to a total cost just shy of $700 million.

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