A coalition consisting of the LIPA (Long Island Power Authority), ConEd and NYPA (New York Power Authority) is working to construct a wind farm 12 miles off the coast of Long Island within the next five years. If successful, the wind project will be capable of supplying 350,000 kilowatt hours of electricity to Long Island and New York City. The plans are expected to be approved in the next few weeks, which means that construction could begin within the next few months.

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A previous attempt to build a wind farm off Long Island received heavy opposition from beach-goers and Kevin Law, who headed LIPA, but who is championing the new plan as president and CEO of Long Island Association. He has previously said that the old wind farm plans were “too small and too intrusive”.

However the project’s delay has meant that the technology has improved over the past few years and the new turbines planned for the wind farm are expected to be larger and more efficient. The span of each turbine blade is expected to be twice the size of Fenway Park’s infield, meaning the turbines can be placed as much as a mile apart and sited in depths up to 60 feet. This allows the turbines to be placed 12 miles offshore, which would put them out of the main shipping lanes and makes them practically invisible to beach-goers.

To put the energy-generating capability of the wind farm into context, in order to produce 350,000 kwh of electricity from coal, you would need to consume 180,000 tons of coal, but you would also emit 347,673 tons of carbon dioxide, 865 tons of nitrogen dioxide, and 1,973 of sulphur dioxide. Using natural gas would produce 183,446 tons of carbon dioxide, 324 tons of nitrogen dioxide, and one ton of sulphur dioxide whilst using oil would need 560,000 barrels of oil, and create 296,433 tons of carbon dioxide, 562 tons of nitrogen dioxide and 2292 tons of sulphur dioxide. Wind energy would emit none of these extra toxins.

Speaking to TheIslandNow.com, Gordian Raacke, executive director of Renewable Energy LI said: “Our area is blessed with off-shore wind resources, so is the west coast, but the ocean floor there drops off much more steeply. But Long Island and New England have an amazing resource, right at our doorstop, a tremendous reservoir of natural, pollution-free energy that can’t be interrupted by anyone. If this were an oil reservoir, we would see headlines, ‘Vast New Energy Resource Discovered for New York/Metro Long Island!’ There it is. All we need to do is tap into it.”

via The Island Now

Images: WorldIslandInfo.com and Slaunger