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National Wildlife Federation and Environmental Leaders Applaud Long Island Power Authority Decision to Increase Capacity of Future South Fork Wind Farm

Uniondale, NY – The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) Board of Trustees announced today that it has increased its commitment to purchase offshore wind energy from the South Fork Wind Farm, a project proposed for development 30 miles east of Montauk. Early this year, LIPA agreed to a 90 megawatt (MW) contract for this project and today the Board announced it will purchase 130 MW. This increase will allow the South Fork Wind Farm to draw greater benefits from the 2018 federal Investment Tax Credit for offshore wind power, offering an opportunity to reduce the cost per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by the project.

Environmental, business, labor, and community leaders across New York celebrated this announcement and LIPA’s leadership in moving the state’s first offshore wind project forward and increasing the contribution it will make to the Island’s energy portfolio. Previously capable of powering roughly 50,000 homes, the South Fork Wind Farm will now supply tens of thousands more with clean, local, renewable offshore wind power.

Responses from New York leaders:

Catherine Bowes, Offshore Wind Energy Program Director at National Wildlife Federation said, “National Wildlife Federation applauds the Long Island Power Authority for their bold leadership in moving NY’s first offshore wind project forward and jumping on this strategic opportunity to deliver even more clean energy to Long Island for a lower price. Responsibly developed offshore wind power is New York’s golden opportunity to reduce pollution, create jobs, and advance a critically needed climate change solution. Looking forward, we will continue to engage with industry, scientists, conservation partners, and key government agencies to ensure that the South Fork Wind Farm and all offshore wind projects built to power NY are developed responsibly with strong protections for wildlife in place every step of the way.”

John R. Durso, President of The Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO said, “We welcome LIPA’s proposal to purchase additional power from the South Fork Wind Farm, which will be constructed by Deepwater Wind.  The amended power purchase agreement takes advantage of continuing progress in the offshore wind industry at prices that are advantageous to Long Island’s consumers. This is another big step toward a clean energy future and jobs in an emerging industry.”

Lisa Dix, New York Senior Representative for the Sierra Club said, “We support and applaud the Long Island Power Authority’s proposal to bring even more job creating, renewable, affordable, reliable, pollution-free energy to Long Island.  Expanding LIPA’s commitment for offshore wind is not only a good investment for Long Island’s electric customers, but will also curb climate pollution, create family wage jobs and new economic development opportunities for Long Islanders. Today’s announcement further positions Long Island and New York as a regional hub for the offshore wind industry and as a national climate and renewable energy leader.”  

Kevin Law, President and CEO of the Long Island Association said, “The offshore wind farm proposed by Deepwater Wind is an important step forward in building Long Island's clean energy economy, creating new jobs in this industry and diversifying our fuel sources which is why the LIA has supported this project and now its expansion.”

Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment said, “We are witnessing an historic project for our island. As wind technology improves our clean energy future improves. Maximizing wind energy potential, minimizes our fossil fuel use, and that’s a legacy that all New Yorkers will be proud of.  Maximizing this project with state of art energy technology is a prudent way to help East Hampton to meet their 100% renewable energy goal.”

Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Long Island said, “Getting more power from the South Fork Wind Farm within the same footprint, thanks to more advanced wind turbine technology, is a smart move. We commend LIPA’s board for approving a more cost-effective project while meeting a greater portion of our energy needs from an abundant and locally available renewable energy source.”

Kit Kennedy, Senior Director, Natural Resources Defense Council said, “This newly bolstered offshore wind commitment is a win for our clean energy future, and indicates its sweeping potential in New York State. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York is beginning to harness the power of this plentiful source of clean energy and taking decisive action to reach its bold, nation-leading climate goals. As offshore wind development continues apace, we look forward to ensuring that New York also leads on its commitment to protecting our coastal waters and wildlife.”

Conor Bambrick, Air & Energy Director at Environmental Advocates of New York said, “The need for clean energy production grows more urgent with each passing day. Luckily, the off-shore wind industry is up to the task and has been making great strides towards improving technology. Today’s announcement by LIPA is a welcome move and underscores the benefit when government keeps pace with clean energy innovators.”

Sammy Chu, Chairman of the USGBC Long Island Chapter said, “As clean energy solutions continue to present themselves as a better value option for Long Island ratepayers, we are grateful that LIPA has committed to not only deploying more wind power capacity, but also doing it in a way that makes it more attractive financially.  It requires leadership to keep up with technology and opportunity, and LIPA has provided that leadership to the betterment of Long Island.”

Billii Roberti, New York Member of Mothers Out Front said, “Mother Out Front is keenly aware that Long Island is home to some of the dirtiest, most polluting power plants in the state. This is why we are delighted with the flexibility and foresightedness of the Long Island Power Authority’s Board of Trustees in expanding the capacity of the South Fork Wind Farm from 90 to 130 MW! This will increase the power output without increasing the number of turbines. The quicker we can attain 100% renewable electricity generation the better it will be for the children on our planet and especially this corner of it.”

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