Wind Energy Is Critical - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2201914

Wind Energy Is Critical

I thought we’d be able to dodge the bullet of the still giant and powerful dregs of Hurricane Lee. But despite our missing a direct hit, the Town of Southampton had to declare a state of emergency to prevent an ocean breach into Shinnecock Bay in Hampton Bays caused by washover from the storm.

Here it is, Climate Week, when we’ll hear yet again how the window available to avert the worst of climate change is narrowing precipitously. We’re the direct recipients of more ferocious storms, rising waters and heavier rainstorms.

Let’s not succumb to feelings of inevitable doom. There is much to be hopeful about. The Biden administration’s climate actions are turning the nation around from burning fossil fuels to using steadily growing amounts of zero emissions clean energy.

In particular, although offshore wind projects have been encountering the not unexpected rough surf of supply chain woes and inflation — what infrastructure projects haven’t? — Sunrise Wind off East Hampton is under construction, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has completed its environmental analysis of Long Island’s Empire 1 and Empire 2 wind projects, and wind farms are proceeding off Massachusetts and in New Jersey. Despite misguided local opposition, whale deaths have zilch to do with wind turbines.

The economics of offshore wind will make sense when New York renegotiates rates commensurate with the rate of inflation since they were originally agreed on. The Inflation Reduction Act will help bring down the overall cost.

The third offshore wind solicitation is imminent. If Governor Kathy Hochul only selects two projects, she must immediately initiate a fourth solicitation. The governor must ensure that New York meets its mandate of enough offshore wind for 4.5 million New York homes by 2035. Abundant offshore wind energy is critical for the state to get rid of climate-polluting emissions and reduce the risks we face from the climate catastrophes they cause.

Stephanie Doba

Sag Harbor