Groups Applaud LIPA, Governor Cuomo for Historic Action Advancing Nation's Largest Offshore Wind Project

Uniondale, N.Y.— The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) voted today to formally approve the development of New York’s first ever, and the nation’s largest, offshore wind farm, located off the east end of Long Island. The approved 90-megawatt, 15-turbine offshore wind farm will produce enough energy to power over 50,000 homes. LIPA cited that offshore wind was the most cost effective proposal to meet Long Island’s South Fork energy needs.  

Last week, in his bold State of the State announcement, Governor Cuomo committed to building 2,400 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind power by 2030 – enough to power 1.25 million homes. The Administration will also release a master plan by the end of the year, mapping out the state’s intention to build offshore wind to scale, which is essential in ensuring the Governor meets his goal to power 50 percent of New York’s energy from renewables by 2030. The Governor also pledged his support for New York’s first, and the nation’s largest, offshore wind project off the east end of Long Island.

Local, state and national organizations hailed this project as an essential first step towards a bold, long-term, large-scale offshore wind program for New York. Building off of LIPA’s historic vote today, groups also urged the LIPA Board of Directors to commit to an additional investment of at least 210 more megawatts of offshore wind in the upcoming Island Wide procurement. The decision, which is expected to happen in March of 2017, will help ensure Long Island becomes a regional hub for a new, clean energy industry, spurring thousands of jobs and economic development opportunities throughout the state.

In response to the announcement, New York elected officials and environmental, labor, and business organizations provided the following comments:

“A comprehensive offshore wind program is vital to growing a clean-energy economy and combating climate change,” said New York Senator Todd Kaminsky. “With this offshore wind farm, New York will take its rightful place as the national leader in advancing renewable energy. I will continue to advocate for investments in renewable energy that lower carbon emissions and grow our clean-energy economy.”

“The Long Island Power Authority’s decision today once again puts New York in the leadership position on clean energy,” said New York Senator Phil Boyle. “I applaud LIPA for their landmark resolution and look forward to continue fighting for a healthier environment and protecting our citizens from the dangers of climate change.”

“Clean, renewable energy is the future of New York,” said New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. “Green energy sources, like offshore wind, not only will help satisfy the increased energy demand on the South Fork of Long Island, but it will also help grow our economy, create jobs, and safeguard the health and safety of all New Yorkers.”

“Offshore wind is an important piece of the puzzle as we transition to greener energy and a robust clean energy sector of our economy,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “This project will address the critical energy needs of the South Fork in the most economical way and at the same time, create new jobs and a new source of renewable energy in our region.”

"The east end of Long Island has a proud tradition of harnessing the power of wind,” said Jay Schneiderman, Supervisor, Town of Southampton. “Our landscape is graced by historic windmills used by early settlers to grind grain into flour.  With this project, wind power will be as much a part of our future as it is of our past."

“The Deepwater wind project is a giant step ahead in meeting the goal of the Town of East Hampton to become 100 percent renewable for its electricity needs by 2020,” said Larry Cantwell, Supervisor of the Town of East Hampton.

“In just a few years, we will look back on this vote by the Long Island Power Authority as one of the pivotal decisions that launched American offshore wind power, a new wildlife-friendly, clean energy industry that will create tens of thousands of jobs and supply pollution-free electricity right where we need it,” said Catherine Bowes, Senior Manager for Climate and Energy at National Wildlife Federation.  “We applaud Governor Cuomo and LIPA for this bold leadership in seizing the golden opportunity far off our shores to protect our communities and wildlife from climate change.”
“We applaud the Long Island Power Authority and Governor Cuomo for their visionary leadership today,” said Lisa Dix, Senior New York  Representative for the Sierra Club. “Building New York’s first, and the nation’s largest, offshore wind project is an historic step forward. Offshore will provide cost-effective, reliable and pollution-free electricity for Long Islanders, create jobs and new economic development opportunities for New Yorkers, and position the Empire State as a national climate and clean energy leader.”

“This is a big step for LIPA, a bold step for renewable energy on Long Island, and the beginning of an offshore wind industry in the State of New York and the country,” said Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Long Island. “We commend Governor Cuomo and LIPA for showing visionary leadership in the transition to renewable energy and thank all who have advocated for offshore wind energy over the last couple of decades.”

“We are definitely celebrating! Over 10 years of hard work and effort and we finally have New York’s first offshore wind farm,” Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens Campaign for the Environment said. “This vote is the proverbial fork in the road. One energy option was an additional fossil fuel power plant, the other choice, clean renewable wind energy. LIPA made the right choice. This historic vote for offshore wind opens the door for large scale renewable wind farms for Long Island and New York. It paves the path forward for a renewable future that brings us a resurgence of hope that our nation can be a leader in the fight against climate change.”

“LIPA’s approval of the offshore wind farm proposed by Deepwater Wind is exciting news for the region as Long Island continues to be a national leader in building a clean energy economy,” said Kevin Law, President & Chief Executive Officer, Long Island Association.

“LIPA’s approval of the offshore wind contract with Deepwater Wind is a landmark decision in support of New York’s commitment to clean energy and good jobs. Our workforce is ready to provide the skilled labor needed for this emerging offshore wind industry,” said John R. Durso, President, Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

“We applaud LIPA for approving this first step toward making New York the leader in renewable energy and Governor Cuomo for his leadership and vision for renewable energy going forward,” said John Cush, Vice President/Business Agent Ironworkers Local 361. “Not only does this project create good paying jobs immediately, but it is also the first step toward leaving the Earth a better place for generations to come. With Deepwater Wind’s commitment to build this wind farm using local labor, this project is a win-win for everybody.”

“Wind energy is a long time coming,” said Richard O’Kane, President, Nassau and Suffolk Building and Construction Trades. “I am delighted that the Nassau and Suffolk Building and Construction Trades will get to help build this industry and put our 59,000 strong members to work.”

“It’s time Long Island gets back on the map as being a home to innovation and forward progress,” said Tim McCarthy, Business Representative, IBEW 25. “Long Island needs a strong, long-term industry that provides good paying jobs. Wind checks those boxes and many more.  From turbine construction and maintenance jobs to supply chain jobs, employment opportunities will be in the thousands. It’s the right industry at the right time.”

"We applaud the coalition of New Yorkers who fought for this victory for years, Governor Cuomo, and LIPA's leadership in taking this step to bring offshore wind to New York,” said Bill Lipton, New York State Director, Working Families Party. “Offshore wind power offers the possibility of thousands of good jobs around the state and will help us ensure healthy communities and meet our state's climate commitments. This is a big first step toward building a thriving economy powered by 100 percent clean and renewable energy that works for all New Yorkers."

"Long Island is energy thirsty and transmission constrained, but is rich in ocean winds,” said Megan Ahearn, Program Director for NYPIRG. “We applaud LIPA and Governor Cuomo for providing a critical opportunity to get New York offshore wind off the ground. This is a landmark step for the region, the state and ultimately a critical move towards a society powered by renewable energy.”

"Today's historic vote is the culmination of so many years hard work from so many advocates,” said George Povall, Director of All Our Energy. “We are excited to honor their hard work and thank Governor Cuomo and the LIPA trustees for their forward thinking that moves Long Island into a future of climate protection with new economic opportunities for New Yorkers."

“New York State is making history today by approving plans to power Long Island’s South Fork with the nation’s largest offshore wind project.  By taking this first step and committing New York to move forward with enough offshore wind power to light 1.25 million homes by 2030, Governor Cuomo has positioned New York State to be the leader in realizing the infrastructure, jobs and economic development benefits of the emerging U.S. offshore wind industry,” said Kit Kennedy, Director of NRDC’s Energy & Transportation Program. “The Long Island Power Authority’s vote today to move forward with the South Fork offshore wind project is positive proof that New York State means business when it comes to clean energy and climate action.  New York State’s leadership couldn’t come at a better time.”

"Offshore wind holds a great deal of potential for local, clean energy generation in places like Long Island, which suffers from both high energy prices and heavy reliance on long distance transmission for its energy needs. This important step by LIPA is a signal that New York is serious about its goal of generating 2.4 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030 and having 50 percent of all of our energy come from renewables that same year," said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. "We applaud LIPA and the Cuomo Administration for their leadership in moving this project forward."

"We applaud this huge step forward toward powering New York with clean energy and good local jobs,” said Maritza Silva-Farrell, Executive Director of ALIGN. “The growing renewables sector can and must benefit communities and workers."

“LIPA has demonstrated national leadership with today’s commitment to America’s largest offshore wind farm,” said Liz Gordon, Director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance. “The 90 MW of clean, cost-effective electricity that will power Long Island’s South Fork is an essential first step toward achieving Governor Cuomo’s bold plan for 2,400 MW of offshore wind for New York by 2030.”
"In a stroke, LIPA has brought New York to the forefront of American progress on climate change,” Patrick Robbins and Kim Fraczek, Co-Directors, Sane Energy Project said. “The decision to adopt offshore wind power for Long Island will jumpstart domestic jobs, lower our greenhouse gas emissions and help address longstanding injustices in our energy system. We should all be proud to be New Yorkers today!"

"First we defeated the dangerous Port Ambrose floating LNG terminal, now history will show that the nation's biggest offshore wind farm was another big step in the right direction for shorefront communities," said Alexis Smallwood, Community Organizer, Rockaway Wildfire.

“The future of New York State as America’s offshore wind leader is no longer in doubt. By moving ahead on what will be the largest offshore wind farm in the nation, New York has the momentum to propel us towards achieving Governor Cuomo’s climate and clean energy promises,” said Conor Bambrick, air and energy director for Environmental Advocates of New York. “The fight against climate change must be comprehensive, and economy wide, and projects like this will have a ripple effect that benefits our health, our air, our environment, and consumers across-the-board.”

"Today marks a dramatic change in the way New Yorkers think about energy. Long Island organizations, grassroots activists, and devoted community members have fought tirelessly over the years to make offshore wind a reality for Long Island and now their day has come,” said Lisa Tyson, Director, Long Island Progressive Coalition. “This decision is a tremendous win for renewable energy, the climate, and the people."

“This is an important step in making the transition from dangerous energy to clean power,” said Eric Weltman, a Brooklyn-based Senior Organizer for a Food & Water Watch. “With the Trump administration’s anti-environmental agenda, Governor Cuomo’s leadership in eliminating our reliance on dirty fossil fuels is all the more urgent.”

"This decision was necessary in the efforts to transition to a renewable energy economy and we want to thank LIPA for accepting this proposal from Deepwater Wind,” said Shameika Hanson, Community Organizer, Mothers Out Front. “This is a step forward toward a just transition off of fossil fuel energy in the attempt to protect the future of our children."

"Constructing the nation’s largest offshore wind energy project is momentous and puts New York right where it should be—at the front of the pack,” said Heather Leibowitz, Director of Environment New York. “Accelerating our transition to pollution-free energy sources means cleaner air for families, less global warming pollution, more stable electricity bills and a stronger economy.”

"We are thrilled to be here for this historic moment and commend LIPA and Governor Cuomo for ushering in a new energy era in New York,” said Elizabeth Broad, Outreach Director, New Yorkers for Clean Power. “By becoming the national leader in offshore wind we will succeed in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and create thousands of good, green jobs."

“Building an offshore wind farm is a necessary step in building large-scale, renewable energy throughout the state,” said Ling Tsou, co-founder, United for Action. “Thank you Governor Cuomo and the LIPA board for leading the way to build a carbon-free and methane-free energy source for New York.”

"The robust and timely development of offshore wind is critical to our state's and nation's ability to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” said Mark Dunlea, chair of the Green Education and Legal Fund. “Besides providing clean, renewable energy at reasonable prices, it is an opportunity for job creation, local economic development and a healthier future. We applaud this important step by LIPA and the Cuomo administration in moving us closer to a clean energy future.”

“It is gratifying to see years of advocacy for clean energy development bearing fruit in such a spectacular fashion," said Karl R. Rábago, with the Pace Energy and Climate Center. “And it is inspiring to have the leadership in New York that made it happen.”

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