New York takes up state charge for renewable energy

State signs off on what will be the largest offshore wind farm in the country.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Jan. 26, 2017 at 7:36 AM
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Jan. 26 (UPI) -- New York State is the clear national leader in clean-energy innovation with the approval of the largest offshore wind farm in the country, the governor said.

The Board of Trustees of the Long Island Power Authority voted in favor of the 90-megawatt South Fork Wind Farm, which at peak capacity will be the largest in the nation and power up to 50,000 average households in the region. The state government said the consent is the first step toward developing up to 1,000 MW of offshore wind power.

"This bold action marks the next step in our unprecedented commitment to offshore wind, as well as our ambitious long term energy goal of supplying half of all electricity from renewable sources by 2030," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. "This project will not only provide a new, reliable source of clean energy, but will also create high-paying jobs, continue our efforts to combat climate change."

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.

"This is what our clean energy future looks like," Kit Kennedy, the director of energy and transportation initiatives at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said

Cuomo's comments come as state leaders take the lead on climate change after President Donald Trump moved official policy away from precedent established by his predecessor, who last year signed on to the Paris climate agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In his State of the State address, California Gov. Jerry Brown said the White House can't change the science on climate issues. The governor said the science and dangers of climate change are real and it's now up to the states to lead.

"We can do much on our own and we can join with others - other states and provinces and even countries, to stop the dangerous rise in climate pollution," he said. "And we will."

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