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New York offshore wind farm project moves one step closer
(17 September 2011)

Even as opposition to the Cape Wind offshore project ratchets up, the Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative is moving forward with plans to build a wind farm which would supply power to the Big Apple.

An offshore wind farm proposed off the coast of New York City took one more step towards realization on Thursday as the companies behind the project applied for permission to build the wind farm in federal waters.

The Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative, comprising New York power company Consolidated Edison (Con Edison), and the state-owned power authorities of Long Island and New York (LIPA and NYPA) filed a lease application for the 350MW project with the offshore regulator, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE).

If successful, the project could see 97 turbines built 13-17 miles off the Rockaway Peninsula and Long Island, with an initial capacity of 350MW. The partners could eventually expand the project to 194 turbines with a capacity of 700MW, NYPA said.

Selling politically an offshore wind farm is tough at a time when natural gas prices (and thus power prices) are depressed by low demand and the shale gas bubble.

The long island one might stand a better chance (as prices there are permanently higher thanks to that built but never commissioned nuclear plant...)

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 29th, 2011 at 02:57:36 PM EST
This is typical for NY State, however. All the development happens in NYC and the capital, Albany. Last year, there was an analysis that $1.5 billion had been invested by the state in Albany over the last decade, while $35 million had been invested in Buffalo. And just yesterday Cuomo announced they would be investing $4.5 billion in nanotechnology infrastructure in Albany again over the next decade.

Similarly, the legislature approved fracking for Western New York, but banned it in Central and Eastern New York, where most of the drinking water for NYC comes from.

by Upstate NY on Thu Sep 29th, 2011 at 03:13:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Selling it politically is the key phrase, and it really has nothing to do with the price of natural gas. This type of project is basically industrial and manufacturing oriented, where the price of this electricity would actually get diffused state wide, so no one would really know the difference. The difference between onshore and offshore were pretty much known from the start.... The same objections would apply if NYPA put in an RFP for 600 to 1000 MW of onshore Low Wind Speed Turbine projects (which would get about the same output as 500 MW of offshore), "it's too expensive".

I guess here is the money quote, or shot, depending on your degree of cynicism (which I would guess is pretty darn advanced these days):

The CEO of our local natural gas monopoly, which is also busy becoming a natural gas producer via fracking in Pennsylvania (Seneca Resources subsidiary) is now the Gov.'s main economic development dude (right after his Wall Street pitch for equity investors in their fracking adventures bombed, possibly because some of the listed production costs were so low as to border on/delve into the fraud category). He needs more natural gas demand to boost gas prices to justify "swiss cheesing" the Appalachians for methane. And the only way to boost gas demand is to use more gas to make electricity (no way will he get to undercut the old, paid off coal burners and old, paid off nukes in price). And no way will gas demand get boosted in NY State if more of those freakin' wind farms get installed. Plus every one of those wind farms installed clobbers electricity prices via the Merit Order Effect, just for good measure, further depressing gas prices. Good for most of us, bummer for his overpaid self.

But "high electricity prices that might stimulate manufacturing and construction in environmentally friendly ways" is definitely verbotten these days in NY State. Odds are, the new Long Island project will suffer the same fate as the old one, even though it will be out of sight of coastal viewers (maybe they will still shudder under its out of sight presence). And it is so easy to kill it off, because a lot of the beneficiaries of this would be middle class types, who no longer seem to qualify as human beings. I guess you would call them people excluded from "The Serious People" contingent. Besides, odds are more money is going to be needed for our local Bankster contingent - who can never seem to get enough these days -  when the mule that is Greece either kicks back hard, or else collapses under the weight of the bond vigilantes greed.


by nb41 on Fri Sep 30th, 2011 at 10:05:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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