The Long Island Power Authority approved the country’s biggest offshore wind farm on Wednesday in order to meet the growing demand in the Hamptons for energy. The wind farm is set to be built between the eastern tip of Long Island and Martha’s Vineyard.
The farm is the first of several planned by developer Deepwater Wind. It will be in a 256-square-mile parcel, with room for 200 turbines. As many as 15 turbines, leased from the federal government, will generate enough energy to power 50,000 average homes in all.
Thomas Falcone, chief executive of the power authority, said to a crowd before the vote, “It is the largest project to date, but it will not be the last project.” This approval comes a month after the country’s only other working offshore energy farm, also a Deepwater project, began providing customers energy from the grid. This project is located in Rhode Island state water off Block Island.
This project signals the nation’s turn toward new, lower-carbon source of electricity. The effort to mainstream this energy has been invigorated by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal to get half of the state’s power from renewable sources by 2030.
In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Cuomo said “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 and help preserve our environment.”
The project was initially projected to cost $1 billion but has now been adjusted to $740 million. Jeff Grybowski, Deepwater’s chief executive, plans to finance the project with loans and equity investments.
Before the project can begin, however, developers must study and map the ocean floor to determine where and how to anchor every turbine. Then, they must obtain federal and state permits. In order to start transmitting power by the end of 2022, Deepwater must start construction no later than 2020.