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Nov 9, 2018 3:31 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

PSEG Wants To Purchase More Power From South Fork Wind Farm

Comparison of industry-leading wind turbines.
Nov 13, 2018 4:54 PM

The Long Island Power Authority’s board of directors is expected to vote on Wednesday, November 14, to allow PSEG Long Island to negotiate with Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind to add 40 megawatts of power supply to the purchase agreement that LIPA signed with Deepwater Wind last year for the South Fork Wind Farm.

Deepwater Wind, which was purchased by Ørsted last week, first acknowledged in August that there likely would be more power available from the South Fork Wind Farm than the LIPA contract had demanded, thanks to the new availability of more powerful turbines than used in the original planning. At the time they said the company was seeking buyers for the extra electricity that the wind farm would be able to produce with the larger turbines.

But, last week, PSEG officials announced that Long Island’s sole electrical provider plans to make a bid to add the additional power to the 90-megawatt power purchase agreement signed by LIPA and Deepwater in 2017. That would bring the total amount of power it will purchase from the wind farm to about 130 megawatts.

Officials from PSEG touted the expansion of the power supply agreement as a move that will lower the cost of delivered electricity from the wind farm, thanks to economies of scale. While the larger turbines will be more costly, the mobilization and construction costs will not substantially increase with the use of larger turbines.

As with the first agreement, however, the actual cost of the additional power purchased from the wind farm will not be made public, a PSEG spokesman said, but will be shared with the New York State comptroller’s office. The comptroller’s office’s report on the original Deepwater-LIPA agreement said the cost to Long Island ratepayers would ultimately be about $1.6 billion.

Analysis by media outlets and independent researchers used some of the scant details about the contract that were publicly available to estimate that the agreement would be delivering power at an average of 20 to 22 cents per kilowatt hour over the 20 years of the contract.

Critics have seized on the secrecy of the agreements and the relatively high estimated costs of power from the wind farm—the first of its scale in the United States—as evidence that the project should be rejected. Supporters have said that costs will come down as offshore wind development expands along the Eastern Seaboard and levels out the higher per-kilowatt cost of the early agreement.

There are more than 150 offshore wind turbines that are already the subject of applications off the U.S. East Coast, and New York State is starting its solicitations this fall for 800 megawatts of power from offshore wind turbines in the New York Bight area. The state has said it wants to be receiving at least 2,400 megawatts of power from offshore wind farms by 2030.

The additional wind power from the South Fork Wind Farm will also help PSEG move toward its goal of receiving 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

Deepwater officials said in August that they now expect to be able to employ turbines that can generate up to 8 or 9 megawatts of power each at the South Fork Wind Farm site, about 30 miles southeast of Montauk, rather than the 6-megawatt machines on which they had originally based the design of the wind farm and the original contract with LIPA.

The company, which was purchased by Ørsted this month for $510 million, says the farm will still consist of just 15 turbines—and possibly a 16th foundation for the complex’s power substation—anchored to the sea floor in the area known as Cox Ledge and connected to the South Fork by a single 130-megawatt power cable coming ashore in Wainscott.

The larger turbines would be up to 150 feet taller than the 590-foot-high turbines already built off Block Island, which are visible from Montauk on clear days, but are still expected to be beyond the horizon and not visible from land.

The company’s application to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for the construction of the wind farm allows for even bigger turbines—up to 12 megawatts—but company Vice President Clint Plummer said that turbines will be chosen in a matter of months, and that the overall power generation from the South Fork will not exceed 130 megawatts.

“This project is moving forward aggressively,” he said. “It needs to be online by 2022, and to get there we have to move through the permitting process.”

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Who cares the rates keep going up
By chief1 (2770), southampton on Nov 9, 18 6:18 PM
Build an MSR in the old Shoreham plant.
By Mr. Z (11561), North Sea on Nov 10, 18 2:50 AM
That's actually a great idea, I wonder what the conversion process is like. Have any officials ever floated the idea?
By Pacman (267), Southampton on Nov 11, 18 8:10 PM
Greenport has cheap NY hydro electric power. Their rates are half ours. If the wind farm doesn't produce power at a discounted rate to us East Enders, the project shouldn't go through. Our rates are also higher as we are paying for the Shoreham Nuke plant debacle. Lets not have another one.

Tell me how much my electric will cost, as if this Wind Farm as operational now, so I and other rate payers can make a decision.
By North Sea Citizen (563), North Sea on Nov 10, 18 2:55 PM
2 members liked this comment
How about better cell phone service ??????
By themarlinspike (485), southampton on Nov 10, 18 5:07 PM
Nobody calling you man.
By Pacman (267), Southampton on Nov 11, 18 8:10 PM
Eat You
By themarlinspike (485), southampton on Feb 22, 19 9:21 AM
Hampton Bays is the only beach front community not populated with overpriced, never used mega homes. Now they want to screw up the beaches by placing industrial plants on the beach. This idea should be rejected.
By Ernie (88), Hampton Bays on Feb 22, 19 9:18 AM
Hot Tubs,SALE, Southampton Village, SouthamptonFest weekend