ALBANY, N.Y., Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Stunning is how one renewable energy group described a decision by the state of New York to build the nation's largest offshore wind farm.
Kit Kennedy, the director of energy and transportation initiatives at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said New York was setting the bar high with its wind energy commitments to 2030.
"New York State will become the nation's leader on clean, offshore wind power," she said. "As is all too clear, we need states like New York to lead on climate and clean energy issues now more than ever."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on the Long Island Port Authority to approve a 90 megawatt offshore wind farm, which will be the nation's biggest once in service. Addressing concerns by those fretting over coastal aesthetics, the governor said the project will not be visible from shore.
Cuomo committed the state to securing enough wind power by 2030 to meet the energy demands of 1.25 million average households, the largest commitment ever for offshore wind power so far in the United States.
The plans fell under a state offshore wind energy master plan and a broader state energy vision that calls for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and includes a $5 billion investment in clean-energy technology.
"New York's unparalleled commitment to offshore wind power will create new, high-paying jobs, reduce our carbon footprint, establish a new, reliable source of energy for millions of New Yorkers, and solidify New York's status as a national clean energy leader," the governor said.
Project developer Deepwater Wind has the project lease and long-term contract to build a facility that will in part replace any power lost from the closing of the Indian Point nuclear facility. Deepwater Wind operates the only commercial offshore wind energy facility in the United States, the Block Island facility off the coast of Rhode Island.
The offshore wind energy industry is in its infancy in the United States, but it already supplies Europe with more than 11,000 megawatts of power. Germany and Britain are among the world leaders in offshore wind energy.