The trustees of the Long Island Power Authority, utility for millions of residents of the New York metropolitan area, will meet Wednesday to decide on the approval of a 90 MW wind farm to be built about 30 miles off Montauk Point on the eastern end of the island.
The project, which includes plans for the installation of 15 turbines, would be the largest wind farm in the United States and, according to its supporters, would generate enough power to provide more than 50,000 homes with cost-effective renewable energy.
The development of the wind farm is supported by a number of advocacy groups including Renewable Energy Long Island, Campaign for the Environment, the Sierra Club, LI Progressive Coalition, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Earlier this month, LIPA and the Public Service Enterprise Group, a publicly-traded energy company, completed negotiations with Deepwater Wind. This was later confirmed by LIPA spokesman Sid Nathan, who said the contract negotiations had been “successfully concluded,” but declined to provide any further details.
But word of the successful completion of an agreement was good enough for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who urged the LIPA trustees meeting Wednesday to approve it.
In addition to the construction of the actual turbines, the project would also require about $513 million in grid upgrades.
If it is approved, LIPA has said the entire project could be completed by December 2022.
That's not to say there aren't those who are skeptical about the plan. The most often cited concern is that the wind farm and required grid and infrastructure improvements required to make the whole thing work would add nearly $4 a month to customers' electric bills.