WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. government said it was interested in determining whether there was competitive interest for wind energy developments offshore New York.
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said it submitted a request to determine interest for an offshore wind project proposed by the New York Power Authority.
"BOEM must assess whether there are other parties interested in developing commercial wind facilities in the same area in order to determine whether it is appropriate to issue a lease on a non-competitive basis or whether a competitive process is required," the agency explained.
The lease area would cover around 127 square miles about 11 miles off Long Beach and the proposed facility could generate as much as 350 megawatts of wind energy.
BOEM Director Tommy Beaudreau said the announcement is part of a low-carbon push from New York state.
"We will work closely with the state of New York and stakeholders to share information and resolve issues in order to make responsible wind energy development in federal waters a reality," he said in a statement.
The Energy Department said offshore wind has the potential to produce as much as 4,000 gigawatts of renewable electricity, four times what the country produces now. Onshore wind power in the United States accounted for 32 percent of new additions to grid capacity in 2011.