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Jan 24, 2017 4:47 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: LIPA Approves $740 Million Wind Farm To Power The South Fork

Each blade on the 6 megawatt turbines built off Block Island is 225 feet long, towering to more than 580 feet over the surface of the ocean. They are mounted in 90 feet of water on pilings driven 200 feet into the seafloor. Capt. Michael Potts
Jan 26, 2017 3:34 PM

UPDATE: Wednesday, 11 p.m.

LIPA's board of directors voted on Wednesday to enter into a contract with Deepwater Wind to construct only the second offshore wind farm in the U.S., with the power being directed to the South Fork.

In the contract LIPA agrees to purchase the electricity generated by the wind farm for 20 years, starting in 2022, when the 600-foot-tall turbines are expected to start operation.

Jeffrey Gyrybowski, CEO of Deepwater Wind, said the company plans to construct between 12 and 15 turbines in the ocean 30 miles southeast of Montauk, at a projected cost of about $740 million, connecting them to a LIPA substation in East Hampton Town by a 50-mile cable running beneath the seafloor.

Construction of the turbines will be funded by Deepwater Wind but over the 20-year life of the LIPA contract the wind farm is expected to deliver more than $1 billion in electricity to LIPA. The turbines are expected to generate enough electricty to power about 50,000 homes.

Late last year Deepwater began generating electricty from five 6-megawatt turbines it constructed 3 miles off the coast of Block Island, the first offshore wind project in the United States. Those turbines are about 14 miles from Montauk and are visible from the shore near Montauk Point on clear days. The newly agreed-to project would more than twice as far away and not visible from land.

Mr. Grybowski said the company will start work on its design and planning immediately and expects to begin soliciting bids from wind turbine manufacturers later this year.

“This is a big day for clean energy in New York and our nation," Mr. Grybowski said in a statement released by the Rhode Island-based company on Wednesday. "There is a huge clean energy resource blowing off of our coastline just over the horizon, and it is time to tap into this unlimited resource to power our communities.”

Mr. Grybowski said the company will also start holding publlic meetings to discuss the logistics of delivering the energy to the East End. He said the company has been and will continue to hold meetings with commercial and charter fishermen, who have raised concerns and even sued over offshore wind farm plans, fearing that the construction and operation of the turbines will drive fish away from historic migration routes. Though the exact location where the turbines has not yet been determined the area the company has said it wants to erect them is near a renowned cod fishing region known as Coxes Ledge.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who earlier this month urged LIPA to ink the agreement and set a goal for 50 percent of the state's electricity needs to be supplied by renewable-source technology by the year 2030, applauded the historic vote.

"New York leads the nation in pioneering clean energy innovation, and 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," Mr. Cuomo said in a statement released by his office shortly after the vote. "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 for current and future generations of New Yorkers."

The energy from the wind farm will be directed primarily to the East End, and specifically the South Fork, where LIPA has projected a growing deficit of energy supply to demand if new power sources or better delivery infrastructure are not brought online.


The Long Island Power Authority’s board of directors is expected to vote Wednesday on whether or not to enter into a contract with Deepwater Wind to construct a wind farm that could send enough electricity to power 50,000 homes a year to the South Fork.

If LIPA accepts the contract, as is expected, Deepwater would begin planning for the construction of 12 to 15 turbines it has said would be placed about 30 miles southeast of Montauk, about midway to Nantucket. The turbines would be connected to the South Fork by an undersea cable that would come ashore somewhere in Amagansett, according to preliminary outlines of the plans that have been made public.

The proposal in general, along with a broader consideration for much larger wind farms off the shores of western Long Island, have upset some fishermen who worry that the construction and operation of the turbines in the wind farms could upset traditional fish migrations.

The site of the planned South Fork Wind Farm, as the project is dubbed, is near historic cod fishing grounds known as Coxes Ledge.

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Excellent news. Hats off to Gov. Cuomo for having a clear vision of the future of energy in this country and worldwide. Let NY lead the way, as we have in so many facets of our national legacy. No turning back.
By johnj (1017), Westhampton on Jan 25, 17 2:08 PM
2 members liked this comment
Agreed! Now the Hamptons will have all the electricity it needs to power thousands of mansions over the Summer, while the working families of Long Island have the privilege of paying this regressive "green tax".

Highest electricity rates in the country! Punish the poor, punish the poor! Thank you NYS and johnj! Your "progressive" policies really show us the way!
By MoronEliminator (215), Montauk on Jan 25, 17 3:33 PM
2 members liked this comment
Moron has his ideology mixed up. It's the conservatives that are engineering the extreme inequality.
By June Bug (2539), SOUTHAMPTON on Jan 25, 17 7:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
You're welcome. Or rather, I should say, your children are welcome.
By johnj (1017), Westhampton on Jan 26, 17 8:49 AM
No one has said what the break even point is??? What is the impact on wildlife [whales, fish, mammals and birds????
Are we paying for the units, installation and power cable or is LIPA??? No one breaks it down for us common folks...
By knitter (1865), Southampton on Jan 25, 17 4:37 PM
Once they are built, they will run for no more than 5-7 years tops before they are deemed obsolete. They will then be there for the next 500. Smart move by Junior Cuomo. Trust fund kid was obviously born on 3rd, yet thinks he hit a triple....
By even flow (947), East Hampton on Jan 25, 17 7:06 PM
By dave h (193), calverton on Jan 25, 17 7:33 PM
1 member liked this comment
seems to be some info missing. Cost of wind turbines, cost to install, cost of cable install, shoreside infrastructure, who bears the cost maintenance and the life expectancy of the units.
By bigfresh (4548), north sea on Jan 25, 17 10:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
And let the OT flow to the Unions.
By Mouthampton (433), Southampton on Jan 26, 17 8:59 PM
If, when the Indian Point nuclear power plant is deactivated 5 years from now AND a replacement for its baseline energy production is not found, will Eastern Long Island still be awash in electricity??
By Duckbornandraised (184), Eastport on Jan 26, 17 10:28 PM
So what will my electrical rate be? Unless we are going to see the rate drop, equivalent to the cheap hydro electric power that we arent allowed to get, I would then rather see $740,000,000 put back into rate subsidies for every residential homeowner in Nassau & Suffolk. Somehow I think our rates are gonna go up!
By North Sea Citizen (563), North Sea on Jan 27, 17 6:23 AM
1 member liked this comment
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