The Long Island Power Authority, a utility in the US state of New York serving a large swath of the New York City suburbs is poised to a approve a wind farm off eastern Long Island that it says would be the nation's largest offshore wind energy project to date.
The authority announced Thursday that is plans to approve a proposed 90 MW, 15-turbine wind farm in U.S. waters east of Montauk Point at a meeting next week.
The US is far behind Europe and others when it comes to the development of offshore wind energy because of regulatory hurdles and opposition from a wide range of interests including the fossil fuel industry, commercial fishing, and even the well-to-do, who fear turbines will spoil the views from their expensive waterfront homes.
The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has issued several leases for wind projects along the Atlantic coast, but none have come to pass.
One project, near Block Island, off the coast of the US state of Rhode Island, just north of Long Island, is expected to start producing power in the fall.
The authority plans to award the wind farm contract to Deepwater Wind, the same company that his doing the Rhode Island project. Under the terms of the agreement, Deepwater Wind will build and own the wind farm and sell the power produced to the authority.
The exact terms of that agreement still need to be worked out, but both sides said they expect to have a final deal worked out by early next year.
Deepwater Wind has already holds the lease for the site, which is located about 30 miles offshore. The company expects to be producing power by 2022.