After years of planning and debate, offshore wind farm developers recently took several big steps forward in a half dozen projects in various stages of development off the coast of Long Island.
A record-setting sale of offshore wind development rights last week saw combined bids for six areas off the coasts of New York and New Jersey stretching to $4.73 billion. The auction came less than two weeks after officials held a groundbreaking — or a seafloor breaking, as it were — ceremony in Wainscott on Feb. 11 to mark construction starting on the 130-megawatt South Fork Wind, the first offshore wind project in New York State.
“When you ask what the energy future may look like, I say, ‘The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,’” Gov. Kathy Hochul told the crowd gathered for the ceremonial first shovel in the ground. She apologized to Bob Dylan for co-opting his lyrics, then led the ceremony as the folk song played in the background.
Eyes across the East Coast are looking to the offshore wind farm as the future of alternative energy. Progress on the Hamptons project follows the nation’s first offshore wind farm, which went online off Block Island in 2016 and comes as Massachusetts currently is developing another.
President Joe Biden early last year set a goal to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy — enough to power 10 million homes — by 2030. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the division of the Interior Department that oversees offshore wind permitting, will hold up to seven lease sales by 2025 in the Gulf of Maine, Gulf of Mexico, and off the coasts of California, the Carolinas and Oregon.
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